MEET JEREMIAH – Interview with the new Executive Director of the Kennedale Chamber of Commerce

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? ???Meet Jeremiah Wunneberger, the new face of the Kennedale Chamber of Commerce.? He started last fall as the Executive Director, and he and the Chamber have been a whirlwind of activity since. That suits him just fine.? If you spend any time talking with Jeremiah you quickly realize this is someone who has gathered no moss.? He likes people and he is not shy. This may be the perfect fit for him. The Kennedale Chamber offices are uniquely located in the middle of Kennedale TownCenter redevelopment district. {{more}}

So, how did Wunneberger find himself in Kennedale?

? ? ??I ended up here by the grace of god?, he replied.

? ? ?”I want to go into the ministry and be in a pastor position someday after I have graduated from seminary school. There is no better position [than this one] to be involved in the community. I get in touch with residents, businesses, the school, the city ? I am like in the middle of all them and that is one of the key aspect that pastors and church leaders need.? To be able to connect to their following and connect their church to the community. So this is a learning experience for me; a gathering of skills for me; and, it is a way of the Lord smoothing out my rough edges.?

? ? ??I have to learn to shut up and be nice?, he added with a chuckle.

Wunneberger’s past working experience has prepared him for his current position.

? ? ? ?I worked for several years at UPS and climbed up that chain pretty quick and from UPS I learned logistics – how things happened, [and] fixing it before it happens in a bad way.? So I am able to apply [my experience] to this.? Sometimes I feel like that clown at the circus, up on the ball, and everyone is watching waiting for him to fall flat on his face. I have graduated but I want to go back to work on my master?s but there is no way I am going back right now.? There is too much to do [on this job for that].”

? ? ?To help he has used interns [from the Kennedale High School] and just recently the Chamber hired a part-time administrative assistant ? 3 days of week.? Jeremiah believes the new help is necessary as the city is quickly growing.

? ? ??Kennedale is booming, different businesses and organizations, so the Chamber has to grow with it.??

Although Kennedale is growing, Jeremiah’s goal as the new Executive Director is to become a familiar face to city residents.

? ? ? ?I need to be out of the office to meet people. I think the biggest need for the Chamber is getting out, face to face with people. We have all the tools we have in this office as for as the internet, media exposure, facebook, twitter, e-newsletter, all the digital tools but nothing is going to substitute for word of mouth, to see each other, shaking hands and telling others what the Chamber can do for the individual and for the community.? It doesn?t need to be some email or some newsletter that is so impersonal.? I like to see people. I like to go to their business.? I am actually going with one business member to spend some time with him to see what he actually does, so that I better understand what we can do for him.? All [the businesses] need something different. QT doesn?t need my email, my newsletter but they do need exposure. They do need to be part of the community. Each business needs the Kennedale Chamber in a different way and I want to meet those needs. ?I need to get out there. They have to see us in a real way not just digitally, not just a piece of paper. And that is why they [the Chamber Board] got me here. ?

? ? ?The Chamber has been a major player in recent community events including the annual City Christmas Tree Lighting in December, a Legislative trip to Austin where Kennedale was recognized on the House and Senate floor in February, the Texas Independence Day Parade in March,?and the upcoming Arts in the Park festival.

? ? ?The Kennedale Chamber currently has around 200 members that include businesses in and outside the city limits of Kennedale. The Chamber has monthly luncheons on the third Wednesday of each month from 11:30-1pm. This month, March 20th, the topic is ?Computers and Small Businesses, 101? presented by Jeff Neverez. The Chamber also has a networking and fun opportunity called ?Business After Hours? on the second Tuesday of the month from 5-7 pm. Next month informal get-together is at Don Mario?s Mexican Crusine on April 9th. ?Visitors and guests are welcome at these events.???

? ? ?Currrent Board of Director members are Chairman Pat Doescher, Donna Sellers, Bob Hart, Mark Biondi, Naseem Patel, Joe Taylor, Fred Moore, Deborah Su, James Mulroy and Mike Frazier.

? ? ??I want to include all businesses in Kennedale and there are a lot. We’ve got to work with the communities around us. We have to work with other Chambers ? it is to our benefit to learn from them to know what has worked for them. When we have an event I don?t want there to be a parking spot left. I [through the Chamber] am trying to build one plank at a time and build a bridge so we can all work together”, Wunneberger explained.

Residents are sure to see some changes in their community as Jeremiah Wunneberger has many plans to continue bettering the city of Kennedale.

? ? ??Anything I do in this Chamber, I want to do big.?

?For more information on the Chamber of Commerce visit:?

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