Staff photo by Mike Briotta
Ron Luczak, interim executive director of the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce, is a Chicago native and recent émigré to the Verde Valley.
The interim director hails from a western suburb of Chicago, the tony town of Wheaton, Ill. "It's about 30 miles from the city," he said. "Home of Wheaton College. I lived there for about the last 17 years. When we moved in, you couldn't even buy liquor, it was a dry town. Of course, that's changed over time."
Although he boasts no chamber of commerce work experience, Luczak said this week that his background in finance would certainly help him to maintain and review the chamber's financial records. "I've been in banking all my working career," Luczak said.
He continued, "I feel very confident dealing with businesses and would always try to help them. With my background in business, I want to be an asset not only to the chamber but also to the community." Regarding his financial duties at the chamber, Luczak said, "I'm basically reviewing the year-end financial statements and preparing the tax returns."
His other work is expected to include disseminating ballots for an upcoming membership vote to elect board members.
"Those ballots are going out later this month," he said. "We also have our mixer coming up next week at Summer Place Farm in Camp Verde, on Oct. 22."
It's a lot to digest for Luczak, who recently moved to Sedona, and has never spent so much time in Camp Verde as he did this week. "I'm really looking forward to working with the chamber and the town," he said. "To basically help the town in terms of business."
Luczak said he was asked to step into the executive director role by Emil Schubert, a member of the chamber board of directors. "I knew him back in Chicago, where we worked together at the Harris Bank," he stated. The interim director said he hopes to be considered for the full-time director position when the board conducts its search. "I would like to apply for the position," he said.
Luczak 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.
Although new residents, he and his wife Marianne have been frequent visitors to the Verde Valley during the past 17 years. "I had been through the area before," Luczak said. "History has always amazed me and this town has a lot of history. I was a typical tourist."