MACCI turns 75: Part III Changing names
By Kris Leonhardt
Editor’s Note: As the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MACCI) celebrates 75 years, we take a look at its formation and presence in the community. Continued from previous edition
The organization operated under the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce moniker until 1961. During an April 5 meeting, directors changed the name of Marshfield’s chamber to the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
The addition of “Area” was made to include members outside the city limits. The matter had been an ongoing conversation and similar changes made by the Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids chambers gave it the final push needed.
An increase in dues was also implemented to keep up with other chambers. Marshfield had charged $25 since 1955, and Marshfield and Fond du Lac were the only two groups remaining at that rate. The dues were bumped up by $7, and at $32 it was still well below Wisconsin Rapids at $48, Wausau at $39, and Stevens Point at $36.
In 1970, William “Tiny” Uthmeier resigned as the organization’s executive secretary, putting in nearly a quarter of a century. A dinner party was held June 10 that year to honor the 68 year old.
“It is my feeling that, next to our own secretary of defense, Mel Laird, Tiny is the best-known Marshfield man in the good old U.S.A.,” Prince Koenig said at the event.
Uthmeier was succeeded by George Schneider, who headed the organization for the next 11 years. During Schneider’s term, the position’s title was changed from executive secretary to executive director.
Upon Schneider’s resignation due to health issues, Mary Jo Carson stepped into the role. Carson had been the manager of Northway Mall since the facility was constructed. Her husband, Jerry, was a former alderman. Carson stated that she would work hard to make Marshfield “stand out.”
She later resigned to take a position in the state department of development.
During her tenure, monthly “Business After 5” events were introduced.
After Carson’s departure, Paul Pawlowski stepped into the role for a short period of time.
In October 1986, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce directors voted to merge with the Marshfield Development Corporation to become one organization.
Former Mayor Marilyn Hardacre was hired to handle the merger and had previously worked as the executive director of the Marshfield Development Corporation.
The organizations said that the merger would create strength in management and finance, with the two agencies roles often overlapping.
Hardacre immediately began recruiting for a program director and dug her heels in as the executive director of the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Continued in next week’s edition