MACCI turns 75: Building a team
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.
Part IV continued from previous edition
As the two organizations merged and Marilyn Hardacre came on as the MACCI director, she immediately began work on building the organization.
“She was a perfect fit for combining the Chamber of Commerce and the Marshfield Development Corporation, which former Ashland Mayor Ed Wagner had came to town to run for awhile until it was dissolved and the combination took place,” Former Marshfield Mayor Mike Meyers recalled.
Hardacre began recruiting for a program director.
A total of 24 people applied for the position and the search committee narrowed the field down to four. The committee, formed with members of the two merged organizations, was created to make a recommendation, with the final selection coming from the board of directors.
The new organization’s board of directors consisted of: Vern Baltus, Baltus Oil Co.; Dennis DeVetter, Valley Sanitation; Jim Gallatin, Weyerhaeuser Co.; Cathy J. Gorst, Gorst Law Offices; Jack Hackman, WDLB/WLJY; Robert Heck, Heck Insurance Service; Kenneth Heiting, M & Central Bank & Trust; John Hopperdietzel, Marshfield Monument; David Jaye, St. Joseph’s Hospital; Jim Jewell, Jewell & Associates Insurance; Ken Kobs, Park Hotel; Dan Priske, Associated Citizens Bank; Dave Seyfert, GTE-Wisconsin; Jeff Thorkildsen, Prange’s; David Valle, Spring Green Floral & Hobby; Frederick Wenzel, Marshfield Clinic; and Diane Wolf, Northway Mall. Skip Perkins, Perkins Sports, was to serve as ex-officio member.
Diane Wolf, former marketing director and manager of Northway Mall, was ultimately named program director. Wolf had served on the chamber board of directors since November 1984.
She began in her new role on Jan. 1, 1987, on the official day the two organizations became MACCI.
At its inception, the new organization was 300 members strong.
MACCI’s newsletter “Perspectives” began monthly publication on the third week of each month, an annual community calendar was implemented, and Hardacre set out to make MACCI a “household word.”
“My goal is that by the end of the year MACCI will become a household name in the community and be recognized as a driving force in the continued improvement of our local economic climate,” she told News-Herald Reporter Jim Stern.
Hardacre also began promoting Marshfield as “The City in the Center.”
The newly-formed, 36-member MACCI Ambassador Club led a membership drive with the goal of hitting 400 members by the end of the year.
The economic development component of the chamber was to be overseen by an “Economic Development Authority” made up of the city’s mayor, an alderman, a county supervisor, and two members of the chamber’s executive board, who would approve spending of public funds received by the city and county.
At that time, the chamber operated out of their facilities at 111 S. Maple Avenue, but it wouldn’t be there for long.
Continued in next week’s edition