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.
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.”
As we begin planning for our 2020 events, we have created a brochure to highlight the sponsorship opportunities available to members.
The Chamber is proud to offer a variety of networking opportunities for our members, as well as public events that bring our community together. There are opportunities available at different price points for our events, or choose the “Everywhere” package to be represented at every event we host.
We are grateful to the many businesses that partner with us to bring these events to Washington, and we couldn’t do it without you! Thank you for considering our sponsorship opportunities. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office (636-239-2715).
On behalf of our Board of Directors and Staff, we wish you a wonderful final month of 2019 and an even better year in 2020!
One specific item that our Board Chairman, Dave Politte, mentioned at the Chamber Mixer on June 6, was a renewed focus on member retention, and specifically, our recognition of members.
We want to make sure our members are getting the most out of their membership, and feel comfortable giving suggestions for improvements. Our staff is implementing a plan to assign each member to a staffer who will try to reach out a few times a year with a personal contact. Of course, we always welcome you to visit our office, and we look forward to visiting at your place as well. With over 500 members, we want to do a better job of making sure no ne is getting lost in the shuffle!
Another way we are hoping to give more attention to our members is by recognizing membership milestones at some of our events! Beginning in 2020, we will implement the following schedule:
Business Breakfast Meeting (January)
New Members from Previous Year
25, 30, and 40-Year Anniversaries
Chairman's Circle (Members 50 years or more!)
Summer Mixer (June)
10 and 20-Year Anniversaries
One other new perk that we have started is a drawing at each event for two tickets to the following event. Each member business that has a representative at the event is entered into a drawing (one entry per member - you don't get extras for sending lots of people, although we always love that!). We'll choose a winner and announce it before the event is over. It's just another way we want to show our appreciation for the members that continue to support our Chamber and community. **Congrats to Bank of Washington, who won the drawing at the 2019 Summer Mixer - they get two free tickets to the Member Luncheon (Monday, October 7)!
As always, you also have opportunities to promote your business by updating your online member listing and submitting content for the blog (we always need more Member Features and Ask The Expert Columns), or sponsoring events. Plus, keep an eye out for advertising options in some upcoming publications as well!
How easy is it for people to find your business on the our website?
Our Directory has a number of categories to help, so please take a few moments to review yours!
To find out what categories are currently associated with your account, go to the Chamber homepage, click Directory, and then type your business name in the search bar. The search function will suggest pages for you, so select yours to get to "your" page on the Chamber site. Once on your member page, your categories are listed under your business name.
Would you like to be listed in more categories? No Problem!! Check our list below for current categories, and then contact Amanda to have your profile updated, or request your own username and password to make updates yourself. **User account invitations were sent to all members without a log-in on Thursday, April 11. Check your junk mail and then contact Amanda if you didn't receive one!
This is also a great time to see what other updates you need to make on your page, too! If you don't have a logo, pictures, and social accounts linked, please send that information to Amanda, or sign into your account to make the changes.
CHAMBER DIRECTORY CATEGORIES (See a printable list HERE)
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