Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Scott Mundell new chair of Duneland Chamber Board

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Scott Mundell, the newly installed chair of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, is looking for another strong year in 2014, building on the quiet successes of immediate past-president Tracy Freeze and keeping the Chamber’s well-oiled machine topped off and purring.

At the Chamber’s annual winter luncheon on Wednesday at the Waterbird Banquet Center, Mundell expressed his gratitude to Freeze for handing over to him “the keys to a smooth running sports car.” Freeze, he said, “took on some tasks that are not glamorous or fun, things like updating all of our policies and procedures, work that I am so glad that she took on so that I don’t have to.”

(One of the fruits of that update: a change in terminology, approved by the membership by voice vote earlier at Wednesday’s luncheon. The Chamber’s executive director will now be referred to as the president. The president will now be referred to as the chair.)

Unglamorous work, perhaps. But Mundell--the director of business development for Franciscan Alliance--noted that 2013 would hardly have been as successful as it was had it not been for diligent beavering behind the scenes. “This has been a great year for the Chamber,” he said. “We’ve had increasing membership, a strong fiscal year, continue to bring new businesses to the community, and hosted many successful events--Party in the Park, Golf Outing, Progressive Dinners, European Market--which help bring together all of the Duneland communities. Our membership is now over 450 members. That’s nearly 8 percent growth in members. And we had an operating margin of 9 percent and have a strong balance sheet.”

“Coming off a strong 2012, 2013 was even better,” Mundell added, “and we are now in a position that we have the ability to quickly respond to a new opportunity or address an unforeseen expense without needing to borrow money or make drastic cuts.”

Mundell listed three specific challenges in 2014. First, he wants the Building Committee formed in 2013 to “continue to explore the options to expand or enhance the Chamber facility.” He expects “great progress” to be made in that direction this year and promised to keep the membership apprised.

Second, Mundell hopes to “continue the great growth and economic performance” of the Chamber.

Finally, Mundell is viewing 2014 as something of a transition year, with the loss from the Board of Directors of the “Big Four”: Jim Anton, Hesham Khalil, Brock Lloyd, and Chuck Parkinson, whose “wealth of experience and knowledge” will be missed. Mundell, however, expressed his great confidence in the four’s successors: Michael Hogan, Ann Lichnerowicz, Julie Paulson, and Jo Winey-Babcock.

“Regardless of your business, the Chamber allows you to meet a lot of great people that you might not meet otherwise,” Mundell concluded. “I have met people that have helped me both professionally and personally. There are some of you here today that we have worked together because of our Chamber connections. I have made a lot of new friends and contacts here.”

Tracy Freeze

“A lot of people asked me this year what my ‘project’ was going to be,” Freeze said in her own comments earlier in the luncheon. “What ‘one thing’ would I focus on during my presidency? I really didn’t have one good answer to that question. What I wanted to do was to serve in a capacity that would help the Chamber staff operate at their fullest potential. I wanted to make sure that everyone who wanted to participate at any level had the opportunity to do so. I wanted to leave the Chamber in a position to be fiscally sound and ready to conquer new projects.”

“This year our Chamber spent time refining the organization’s operational systems and monitoring our critical success factors so that we would be ready for continued growth and provide more benefits to maximize your membership dollars,” Freeze added. “This is not sexy, fun work but these were tasks that many people worked on to make this a better organization for you.”

 

 

Posted 1/23/2014