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Join a Committee

Committee involvement is an effective way to establish yourself as a community leader.  Serving on a Chamber committee is a rewarding experience with opportunities to grow professionally, to develop key business contacts, to have extended networking opportunities, and to gain a stronger working knowledge of the area’s business community.  The chamber has several options to volunteer at varying levels of commitment. 

Attendance and active participation are key to fulfilling the objectives of each committee.  These are not advisory committees; they are action-oriented groups committed to supporting the Chamber’s mission and key objectives.  Regular meeting attendance is expected as well as active involvement and work on the projects the committee undertakes. 

Our committees are aligned under a structure we call OPEN, which stands for operations, promotion, education, and networking.  We are open TO business and FOR business.

Operations

Cherie Sonsalla, Executive Director
Finance Committee 2021

Chair: Joshua Sylla, Snyder & Ek
Brenda Pillard, Sarens
Jeff McCarthy, Bank Five Nine
Rich Gaffney, Sentry Equipment Corporation
Kayla Baum, CLA
Cherie Sonsalla, Executive Director

Finance Committee

Meetings:
Several scheduled throughout the year.

The Finance Committee is comprised of members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors with individual and collective strengths in investments, financial planning, organizational management, and accounting.  The Finance Committee provides oversight to the Chamber’s financial operations. It reviews and makes recommendations regarding financial policies and procedures, reserves and cash management, and financial investments.  It also oversees the development of the annual budget and coordinates annual internal audits.

Yellow Brick Road

Chair: Cherie Sonsalla, Executive Director
Marisa Mertins, Member Relations/Event Coordinator
Sean Osborn, Silver Circle Sports Events, LLC

Yellow Brick Road 5K Run/Walk Committee

Meetings:
Monthly meetings from January to June.

The annual Yellow Brick Road 5K Run/Walk welcomes participants of all ages and abilities for a great run or walk in beautiful Oconomowoc.  The Yellow Brick Road 5K Run/Walk Committee plans and organizes the event.  It reviews the event schedule, activities, and awards; helps to solicit sponsors and donations; assists with marketing efforts and volunteer recruitment; and works on the day of the race to ensure a great experience for all participants.

Promotion

Jeff McCarthy, Bank Five Nine

Chair: Jeff McCarthy, Bank Five Nine
Jim Reinke, Paragon Marketing Group
Mary Kay Sokop, Lake Country Greetings
Kevin Brendel, Brew City PC, LLC
Heather Dewey, Bank Five Nine
Lauren Ruff, Ixonia Bank
Cherie Sonsalla, Executive Director

Marketing and Public Relations Committee

Meetings:
The third Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m.

The key objective of the Marketing and Public Relations Committee is to enhance the image of the Chamber through strategic branding.  This committee develops strategies to promote and increase awareness of the Chamber’s events and initiatives, creates informational publications to effectively communicate membership benefits, and generates external communication to educate the public of the positive contribution businesses make for the betterment of the community.  The Marketing and Public Relations Committee also consults with other Chamber committees on all promotional efforts to ensure consistent messaging and branding.

Chair: Michelle Balda, BMO Harris Bank
Angie Scharnell, Ewald Automotive Group
Kris Gallert, Shorehaven
Ashleigh Nowakowski, The Salt Spot
Harv Linz, Cardconnect
Kelly Frank, MSI
Josh Sylla, Snyder & Ek
Rich Gaffney, Sentry Equipment Corporation
Lori Naylor, Associated Bank
Carolyn Bloom, Gordy’s Marine Boat Sales
Cherie Sonsalla, Executive Director
Marisa Mertins, Member Relations/Event Coordinator

Chamber Ambassadors

Meetings:
4 scheduled Ambassador meetings, attendance at as many Chamber events as possible and new member visits/follow-up as needed.

The Ambassador program is a premier business-networking program.  Our Ambassadors play an important role as a face of the Chamber.  They serve as mentors to new members during their first year of membership, assist at Chamber events, and support the Chamber in general areas of membership recruitment and retention.  The Ambassador Committee also plans the Annual Awards Celebration.  To be successful in this role an Ambassador must be well informed about member benefits, be actively engaged in the Chamber, and have the flexibility in their occupations to fulfill Ambassador responsibilities and obligations.

Education

Jennifer Walkowiak, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative

Biz Education

Chair: Jennifer Walkowiak, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative
Tina Lawton, Crossfit Rohkeus
Kayla Stefan, Oconomowoc Area School District
Laura Ferree, YMCA at Pabst Farms
Susan Verhagen, Oconomowoc Area School District
Patty Lapinski, Sentry Equipment Corp.
Cherie Sonsalla, Executive Director

Business Education Committee

Meetings:
The 1st Wednesday of each month at 8:30 a.m. and attendance at Business Education events.

The purpose of the Business Education Committee is to create meaningful and relevant educational opportunities to assist in the growth, development, and success of our member businesses.  The Business Education Committee plans programming for the professional development of member employees and organizes informational sessions about city and county-wide economic development, work force trends, and other topics that affect area businesses.

Networking

Nicole Bessert, ProHealth Care

Chair:  Emma Opperman, Paragon Marketing Group
Kayla Baum, CLA
Josh Effinger, Ixonia Bank
Alaa Aldoss, FEH Design
Nicole Bessert, ProHealth Care, OACC Board of Directors
Marisa Mertins, Member Relations/Event Coordinator

Young Professionals Committee

Meetings:
The third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 a.m. and attendance at Young Professional events.

The key objective of the Young Professionals Committee is to empower area young business professionals by creating an energetic and dynamic environment for learning and networking.   Committee members organize monthly networking events to provide young business people a platform to develop professional connections, plan educational sessions to build upon their business and leadership skills, and seek out community projects to encourage service and volunteerism.

2022 Golf Committee

Chair: Kevin Pagenkopf, Pagenkopf Funeral Home
Brett Ewald, Ewald Automotive Group
Mike Judson, Judson & Associates, S.C.
Tim Knepprath, Wellspring Construction Group
Holly Stapleton, Integrity Services, Inc.
Josh Effinger, Ixonia Bank
Jeff Wagner, Vizance
Cherie Sonsalla, Executive Director
Marisa Mertins, Member Relations/Event Coordinator

Annual Golf Outing Committee

Meetings:
Monthly meetings from January through June.

The Annual Golf Outing is the Chamber’s largest annual fundraising event.  Golf outings aren’t just for leisure; they are a great opportunity to make new business contacts or develop existing relationships in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. The Annual Golf Outing Committee develops and executes a plan for the event including event activities, recruiting participants, soliciting sponsors, and collecting auction and raffle donations.

Yes, I would like to be involved!  Email the Chamber for more information.