RON LUCZAK moves
from interim to
of the chamber.
The Sedona resident stepped in as interim director of the nonprofit group in October. The chamber board recently chose Luczak for the job, which pays $32,000 next year, despite the admission that he is a good friend of a board member.
Former executive director Lori Martinez stated last month that the hiring of Luczak as interim director was done in violation of chamber rules. The board’s governance policy rules stipulate that: "Board members must not use their positions to obtain employment for themselves, family members, or close associates."
Luczak said he was asked to temporarily step into the executive director role by Emil Schubert, a member of the chamber board of directors. He conceded that he has no chamber of commerce work experience. "I knew him back in Chicago, where we worked together at the Harris Bank," Luczak said of Schubert.
Luczak said in a press release this week, "I am honored and very excited being named executive director…[and] will strive to play a positive role in the growth and prosperity of our community."
He continued, "The chamber doors will always be open and suggestions on improving chamber services will be welcomed."
Asked what he thought best qualified him for the job, Luczak responded, "I feel my financial background and the fact that I have worked with businesses during my prior career in banking."
Luczak stated that, looking forward over the next year, his goal will be to "provide our membership with adequate services and create a stable environment within the chamber," as well as reaching out to potential members.
Chamber board president Gary Davis said the group did not discuss the close friendship between Schubert and Luczak when making a decision. He confirmed that the board chose between three candidates: Luczak, Donna Hromada of Kiwanis, and chamber board member LizBeth Cone.
Davis noted that Cone would have stepped down from the chamber board if she had been picked for the job. He said that the full chamber board—including Schubert—chose Luczak among the final three candidates.
Luczak is an Illinois native, hailing from the tony town of Wheaton a western suburb of Chicago. Luczak has said that his background in finance would help him to maintain and review the chamber's financial records.
Luczak recently moved to Sedona. He is a graduate of De Paul University in Chicago, according to a press release, where he obtained a degree in business administration before matriculating from the Graduate School of Banking in Wisconsin. He has also served on the board of directors of the Kenneth Young Center, a nonprofit mental health organization in Elk Grove Village, Ill.