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The Changing of the Guard

By Jim Mikula President/CEO

As 2023 comes to a close, the Chamber staff and I want to thank several board members whose terms have ended. Julie Herbort, COO Heath Family Brands, finishes her term as Immediate Past Chair. Julie will be a significant resource for our reporting on important state action/initiatives that affect our Ag and Wine industry. Also, I expect she will continue to be wise counsel during my tenure as President/CEO.

Three gentlemen have completed their terms: Todd Eidson, Adam Hahn, and Bobby Vitek. Todd, an owner at Sierra Homes, has been our Housing Committee Chair and is active on the City’s comprehensive plan advisory board. We will miss Todd’s calm and insightful contributions to the board. Adam Hahn who has provided entrepreneurial input to the board, is involved with three companies: Bear Creek Construction, Keller Williams Realty, and Wingman Imagery. Bobby Vitek is the lead Pastor at Holy Ghost Lutheran Church and has been shepherding the Childcare Committee that has been making an impact on this much needed service.

All three gentlemen were engaged and ready to volunteer. They have served on set-up crews, tear-down crews and “how can I help?” crews for the Chamber’s banquets, breakfasts, golf tournament and the Light the Night Christmas Parade. Thank you, gentlemen!

In 2024, our Executive Committee will be comprised of Marilyn McNabb as Immediate Past Chair, Greg Oehler as Chair, Jay Mallinckrodt as Vice Chair, Sarah Washburne as Secretary, and Tammy Vollmer as Treasurer.

It’s no surprise to me that our HEB is one of the chain’s best! Marilyn McNabb is a true professional – her handling of my recruitment and hiring process was a master class in both competence and kindness. Marilyn’s continued presence on the executive committee will, no doubt, help my transition and our collective success. 

Our new Chair, Greg Oehler, has long-standing family ties in Fredericksburg and has been part of the Chamber since his youth - as his father also served as Chair of the Chamber. In our first few meetings it became clear to me that he doesn’t like to waste time, enjoys a good laugh, and appreciates our thriving business community. Greg is the Broker at Texas Hills Realty. Another fun factoid about Greg is that he attracts volunteers from all over the country for the Food & Wine Festival every year.

The incoming Vice Chair is Jay Mallinckrodt of Heartland Enterprises. You might know his other, newer company Fredericksburg Cast Iron, born out of the pandemic to keep his company going during difficult times. Full disclosure, I own one of the pans, and it is especially great for making Texas fondue (my own personal recipe). Their plant is impressive with machines that make shafts and rods for some of the world’s largest engines.

Sarah Washburne of Side Street Hospitality will continue as Board Secretary. I met Sarah several years ago to talk about career and technical education (CTE). You might not know that she was a schoolteacher, and this knowledge certainly helps her navigate academia to find how the Chamber can best serve the CTE programs at Fredericksburg High School. For those of you who work in the hotel and restaurant industry, you can appreciate her dedication to serving on the board with a young family plus being part of a 24/7/365 industry.

Tammy Vollmar is the newest member of the board. She is an account executive at Weaver Technologies and while it is located here in Fredericksburg, the company has the ability to deliver enterprise-class solutions and services throughout the country. Having worked with large and small hotel companies, I have firsthand experience with tech companies, and the services/talent at Weaver are first class. Tammy will play an important role in improving the digital offerings from the Chamber.

The staff and I are excited about the challenge of working with a talented and dedicated board and Executive Committee in 2024!

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