The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce has two Board of Directors positions to fill for 2021.
The following four nominees were selected from a highly qualified field of candidates: Steven Kuenzel, Jr., Carrie Maune, Tricia Piontek, and Kevin Richardson.
Steven P. Kuenzel Jr. “Steve”, is a Partner at the law firm of Eckelkamp Kuenzel LLP, Washington Mo. He has worked full time as an attorney at Eckelkamp Kuenzel LLP since 2009, having previously clerked there beginning in 2005. In addition to his law degree from Saint Louis University, he also received an MBA from Saint Louis University in 2010. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for his undergraduate degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance and Banking in 2005.
Outside of work, Steve is a member of the Franklin County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Washington Elks, Rotary, Knights of Columbus, and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He was a recipient of the Outstanding Young Professional Award, class of 2015. Steve is also involved in a variety real estate projects and developments throughout the county. He is married to Colleen M. Kuenzel, who he met in law school and who also received her law degree from Saint Louis University. They currently reside in Washington with their four daughters, Bailey, Darcy, Samantha, and Rory.
Carrie Maune has been a resident of Franklin County most of her life. She grew up in Union and earned a degree in chemistry and biology from University of Central Missouri. Carrie worked at Romer Labs in Union for 12 years before starting Trilogy Analytical Laboratory with two business partners in 1999. Trilogy is an analytical chemistry laboratory focused on food and feed safety. In 2015, Carrie sold her shares in Trilogy, but remains as a Vice President, working in several areas of the company.
Carrie and her husband, Mick, live just outside of Washington, close to Campbellton. They have been married for 38 years and have enjoyed the many benefits of living in this community and have found it to be a wonderful place to raise their family. Carrie and Mick have two children - a 27-year old son and a 21-year old daughter.
Carrie is a member of New Life Church in Washington and is active on the Elder Team and Outreach Team. She has volunteered for a number of groups/events, including Washington FFA, Sheltered Reality Drumming group, marching band functions, and more. At Trilogy she has worked with East Central College, Washington High School,, and Four Rivers Career Center on Industry-specific projects and education events. She has also served on the Biotechnology Steering Committee at ECC and the advisory committee for the FRCC health and science groups.
Tricia (Mohesky) Piontek was born and raised in Washington, Missouri and attended St. Francis Borgia Regional High School. She and her husband, Allan, live in Washington and have five children. Jackson (19), Samuel (22), and Sydney (23) are currently completing or have just completed their college careers and are well on their way to putting their stamp on the community; Holly Wunderlich (35) and Nicole Brueggenjohann (36) are both married with families of their own, working on their own successes locally.
Tricia has risen to the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Brands Division at The Magnet Group. She began her career as a Customer Service Rep at TMG in 2002 after time as a legal secretary, assistant to an Investment Rep, and physician's office assistant.
Tricia has served on the Our Lady of Lourdes School Board and volunteered for the planning of school auctions, parish breakfasts and dinners. She helped with many fundraisers for the Washington Junior ROTC Booster Club, helping grow a successful organization. Giving back to the local community was a priority for her family growing up and a characteristic she and her husband continue to instill in their children. As a family, they volunteer for local Knights of Columbus events and are members of the American Legion Post 218. Supporting local events and activities, such as the Annual Relay for Life, Farmers' Market, Sunset on the Riverfront, and Art and Wine Festival, and supporting local organizations such as the United Way and March of Dimes are important the Piontek family, helping to maintain the small town they love so much and giving back to anyone in need. The Chamber of Commerce seems to be a natural next step and Tricia truly appreciates the opportunity and consideration for this role.
Kevin Richardson is a named partner and attorney at law firm of Zick, Voss, Politte & Richardson, P.C., located in downtown Washington, where he has worked since 2003. He graduated with Honors from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He received his Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Kevin has been a board member of the Franklin County Area United Way, serving as both the Campaign Chair and President of the Board of Directors, has been the President of the 20th Judicial Circuit Bar Association, was named to the Washington Outstanding Young Professionals Class of 2013, has been a member of the TEMCO, Inc., Board of Directors, and has served on the Parish Finance Committee at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Kevin enjoys playing golf, attending his children’s numerous activities, and following Notre Dame sports. He is married to Sarah and they have two children, Audrey and Will.
Ballots were mailed to members on Friday, November 13
and are due back to the Chamber Office by December 1.
In keeping with the “adapt and overcome” theme of 2020, the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and Washington Parks Department will host a very different version of the annual “Olde Fashioned Christmas” event on Sunday, November 29.
The drive-thru event will be held in the Main & Elm parking lot, which will become a magical display of lights and decorations – complete with Santa and reindeer. Children will still be treated to hot cocoa, hot cider, cookies, crafts, and candy canes. A North Pole Post Office will be set up to accept letters to Santa.
Olde Fashioned Christmas (2020 Edition) will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 29 and end at 7 p.m. The line will begin on Main Street at Cedar. Cars are asked to enter from the west end of 2nd street, turning onto Pine, and then onto Main. Volunteers will be present to direct traffic, and will also be collecting non-perishable food donations for local food pantries.
Outdoor decorations and lights are needed to transform the area to a Winter Wonderland. Items to be donated or borrowed can be brought to the Chamber Office (323 W Main Street, Washington) by Friday, November 20. Office Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. To make other drop-off arrangements, please contact Cheryl, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olde Fashioned Christmas would not be possible without the generous donations and financial contributions from local sponsors. Special Thanks to:
While we had been moving forward with plans to hold our Winter Mixer in December, a decision has now been made to cancel the event. As the number of COVID cases in our community continues to rise, we want to do our part to keep people safe. Please continue to take precautions to reduce the spread and keep your family healthy and happy through the holiday season.
This year has been challenging, to say the very least, for everyone. We have all learned a lot about ourselves, our businesses, and our community. Please know that the Chamber is here to support you in the difficult times - providing resources, raising awareness, and cheering you on!
As we look to 2021, uncertain but hopeful, we remain focused on our mission to serve this community by strengthening businesses, boosting the local economic climate, and enhancing the quality of life of area residents.
On behalf of our board and staff, we wish you a season free of quarantine and illness, a wonderful Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas, and the happiest and healthiest New Year!
With so many great prizes up for grabs, we thought you would appreciate a schedule! Live drawings are streamed on the Chamber's Facebook Page, and each day's winners are posted in the Thankful for our Community Facebook event. Tickets can still be purchased on our raffle page, and a full listing of prizes is available there as well.
This year has brought so many challenges in both our professional and personal lives. However, it has also provided us an opportunity (read: forced us) to re-think how we are doing things. In doing so, we've decided to completely restructure how our Young Professionals program works. There is a lot of talent on our roster, and the new model gives us a chance to better utilize the skills of our members!
What is changing?
Instead of just a few people serving on a "steering committee" trying to plan events, all YPs can now choose one break-out committee to join.
What are the benefits of this change?
We will have a much more well-rounded program (more events and greater variety), planned in a more efficient way!
The best news?
Each committee can stay focused and accomplish their goals, because no one is stretched too thin. *high five*
New Break-Out Committees include:
Check out the YP page to learn more about each committee and what we hope to accomplish as a group.
The November 12 event has been postponed. To see how Four Rivers Career Center is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, watch the FRCC Facebook Page for updates!
Thursday, November 12 will be an exciting day for our community as students and local businesses are officially paired for apprenticeships as part of the Career Now program. The ceremony will not be open to the public, but a recap and photos will be available on our blog, and from the School District of Washington.
Four Rivers Career Center prides itself in authentic experiences for their students, bridging the gap between education and career success. Recognized as a premier Career and Technical Education Center we are excited to offer our students the ability to connect their passions to their career path. FRCC services ten high schools and spans St. Charles, Gasconade, Warren, Franklin, Crawford, and St. Louis Counties.
Washington is an ideal location for an apprenticeship program based on our civic leadership, ability to attract and promote long standing businesses, and equip students for the future workforce through our excellence in education. In our first quarter we have been able to connect with fifteen employers for our students. We anticipate a goal of twenty apprentices to sign their commitment with the Department of Labor and their employers. Leaders representing our community, apprentice's parents, our instructors alongside our elected officials will be there to celebrate these students' achievement.
More information on the Apprenticeship Program at Four Rivers Career Center can be found here.
Bank of Franklin County to participate in Community Banking virtual roundtable w/ St. Louis Biz Journal
Bank of Franklin County has partnered with the St. Louis Business Journal for a virtual roundtable discussion that includes a mix of community bankers and actual local small business owners. The discussions center on community banks, small businesses and the vital roles each play in communities across the country.
Four Rivers Career Center is pleased to announce the creation of the Youth Registered Apprenticeship Program in coordination with TransPORTS and the Missouri Department of Labor and with full support from the City of Washington and the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Department of Labor officially approved the FRCC Youth Registered Apprenticeship (YRA) program standards as a nationally recognized and registered intermediary. The FRCC stands as the newest YRA program in Missouri Career and Technical Education.
Andy Robinson, FRCC Director, and Andrea Wieland, Career and College Specialist, have laid the ground work through effective internship (pre-apprenticeship) programs with their industry relevant instructors.
FRCC is setting high standards of qualifications for high school students to qualify through aptitude, academic performance, and work ethic. This merit-based job placement will utilize the top performing students for on the job training, using an earn-while-you-learn model with local employers in high demand.
“Rigorous and relevant career technical education through our instructors at Four Rivers Career Center is producing highly qualified skill trade workers,” Robinson said. “We are bridging the gap between 21st century education and employment needs of our community. We do not just graduate highly skilled students, but we help launch them into their long-term career path.”
The first occupations registered are through the Machine Tool program. Tool and Die Maker and Machinist will be the first apprenticeable occupations as the launch of the YRA program takes shape.
Advanced Manufacturing companies, Homeyer and G & H Tool/Tool Tech are long-term supporters and partners with FRCC advisory councils and internship program.
Gretchen Homeyer, Director of Business Operations, Homeyer Precision Manufacturing, and Julie Scannell, Tool Tech Human Resources Administrator, were the first employers to sign the Department of Labor YRA agreements. Employers are selected by administration and instructors.
KJ Unnerstall Construction and Modern Auto, Inc. have recently joined the industry partner lineup as this program is exponentially expanding to meet the immediate needs of the City of Washington.
“We are thrilled and would like to pass along our congratulations to the Four Rivers Career Center for the launch of this program,” said Sal Maniaci, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Washington. “Washington’s growing industries are fortunate to now have another tool to find and train the future of their workforce. The YRA Program not only gives companies the opportunity to find skilled and reliable workers but it also solidifies the vital business and education relationship in this community.”
Robinson and Wieland recently received notification that TransPORTS accepted the proposal for partnership. As a part of his vision, Robinson has long desired to reinstate the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship initiatives into FRCC. As a first step, he received his first investment of $40,000 to help offset costs of hiring a coordinator, establishing the program, and launching this program into the community.
TransPORTS Project and Marketing Communications Manager Katie Adams has partnered with numerous entities across the nation. As one of only eight national industry intermediaries for the U.S. Department of Labor, they are dedicated to expanding register apprenticeship. Four Rivers is one of only six organizations nationally and the only registered youth apprenticeship to receive funding.
“TransPORTS is proud to partner with Four Rivers’ as a valuable, nation leading program,” Adams said. “Their registered apprenticeship program will link students with employers giving them a strong head start on career paths that pay a family supporting wage and provide opportunities for professional growth.”
Robinson and Wieland welcome Cynthia Walker as the new apprenticeship coordinator. She comes to the School District of Washington after heading up two successful Career and Technical Center Youth Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Missouri that received both national and state recognition.
Wieland will be working closely with Walker as they enhance the internship and college articulation opportunities for FRCC apprentices.
“Youth Registered Apprenticeships use a proven earn-while-you-learn model by combining the excellence in career technical education and employer-provided on the job training, resulting in a highly skilled, sustainable workforce,” Walker said. “We can all find hope in this next generation of workers to be contributions to our community. Youth apprentices are doing something today their future self will appreciate.”
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