At its most recent meeting, the W.A.C.E. Board approved Life Memberships for three longtime chamber industry and association leaders.
The Life Members below, who are all stepping down after long, distinguished chamber careers, will be recognized in-person on Monday, February 13, 2023, at the association’s annual conference in Sacramento, CA.
Below is a brief summary of their involvement in W.A.C.E. and a memorable quote (selected from many) from each of these Chamber Champions.
Cindy Roth: Chair of the W.A.C.E. Board in 2011; has served as conference chair, Academy instructor, Academy Steering Committee member and chair, Pettit Award recipient in 2012. Had a 45-year chamber career — all with the Greater Riverside (CA) Chambers of Commerce.
“I’m glad we made the decision to get involved in political action, but knowing what I know now, I wish we’d gotten involved earlier in my career, but people were nervous and didn’t understand the political process.”
Diane Schwenke: Chair of the W.A.C.E. Board in 2009; has served as conference chair, Academy instructor, Academy Steering Committee member, W.A.C.E. Foundation Board member, Pettit Award recipient in 2010. Served as the president/CEO of the Grand Junction (CO) Chamber of Commerce for 32 years.
“My advice to someone starting out in the chamber business is get professional training as quickly as possible. The things that I learned in classes and the relationships established while I was in those training sessions with other chamber professionals literally pulled me out of many tough situations. The other thing I’d say is ASK FOR HELP. This is a giving community of professionals and chances are the unique situation you are facing has been dealt with in other communities by other chamber professionals who can help guide you through it.”
Pat Patrick, ACE: Chair of the W.A.C.E. Board in 2017; served as conference chair and was the Pettit Award recipient in 2019. Saw the 3C Chamber Branding Project through to completion and coordinated its rollout to the membership. Spent his entire 21-year chamber career serving as the president/CEO of the Lodi District (CA) Chamber of Commerce.
“My advice is you need to stay ahead of your board. The CEO thinks about the chamber seven days a week (probably should be five or six). The average board member thinks about the chamber far less. You need to carefully lead them where they need to go to help your members and the community.”
“Diane, Cindy and Pat are three of the best,” said Dave Kilby, president and CEO of W.A.C.E. “Their service to the industry and to our association has been exemplary; the world would be a much better place if we had more people like the three of them.”