Newly hired Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, Dana DeMet, is returning to his roots. The Harshaw resident returns to the area to lead the Chamber after spending time working across the country. The Star Journal caught up with him to find out what brought him back and what his plans are for leading the Chamber of Commerce into the future.
Star Journal: What made you want to apply for this job?
Dana DeMet: I was born and raised in the Northwoods and I am a product of Rhinelander High School. While I was in high school, I was active in the Nordic Community, student government and a number of community groups. So I have always had a strong connection to this community.
SJ: What are some of the places you worked before coming here?
DD: I graduated from UW (Madison) in 2008 and went to work for Teach For America, which helps students in struggling classrooms. I taught eighth grade in North Carolina, just south of the Virginia border. After that I went to work for Palantir.net in project management and new business development.
SJ: With that experience, what drew you back to the Northwoods?
DD: I got sick of being in the city. I couldn’t do some of the things that I wanted to in my personal life. I like cycling and I like skiing, getting outdoors. I hope to someday own my own custom bicycle fabrication business.
SJ: What are some of the positives at the Chamber do you see now that you are the executive director?
DD: We have a great board and an expanding membership. And now we are looking to expand on the success the chamber has seen. There is a great sense of community. The Chamber is very strong. [Former executive director] Lara [Reed] left this organization in a very good position.
SJ: What are your goals as executive director?
DD: One of the things I want to address right away is getting out the businesses and showing them the benefits of belonging to this organization. I think with an organization like this, that is always the challenge, showing the membership why it pays to be apart of the Chamber. I also want to put in some measurables. We have a great strategic plan; I want to put some measurable goals to hit and make sure we hit those goals.