Do you know a job description that includes dancing with Elvis, riding on a Circus elephant, throwing out the first pitch at a minor league game, singing with a big band, climbing a cell tower, holding an alligator, dressing up as Santa, serving as a guest checker at a local grocery store, changing your organization’s name four times, building I DOOD IT booths, giving the high school commencement speech, singing the National Anthem at a race, riding on the back of a convertible in the homecoming parade and driving around town in a big green Chambermobile? The job description would be for the Executive Director of the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber’s Executive Director, Dawn Mushill, celebrated twenty years in her position on June 6, 2020. “It has been quite a ride. If anyone would have told me that the journey would include everything that I have done, I would have never believed them” said Mushill. The journey has indeed been a fun ride, with the Chamber membership growing from 111 members in 2000 to 500 members in 2019, and Mushill contributes much of the Chamber’s success to her Board of Directors, Ambassadors, staff and members. “If you surround yourself with great people, great things will happen” said Mushill. She has literally met thousands of people in her time at the Chamber and has built long-term relationships with many of them.
The Chamber Presidents have been a very intricate part of the Chamber’s success. Some of the past Chamber Presidents include Gerry Eckert, Jeff Maclin, Jean Myers, Dr. Mike Johnson, Chad Davis, Linda Manley (who is serving her second term as president in 2020) and several more names you might recognize.
Mushill talks with us about her experience with the Chamber and remembers applying for the position. “I remember applying for the position in February of 2000. I had left a previous position in January and was teaching full time for Southwestern Illinois College while I was looking for a job. We had moved from Granite City and built a house in Troy in February. I saw the job advertisement in the Times-Tribune and applied, at that time knowing absolutely no one in Troy. There were 78 applicants for the position so I didn’t think I had a chance. In the first interview, I remember taking a list of suggestions that the Chamber could do. I explained that even if I didn’t get the job, the Chamber could use the list.
On the second interview, I arrived with even more suggestions. And guess what – on the third interview, I brought even more. At the end of that interview, the committee noted they would let me know if I did or not get the job. At that point, Jeff Maclin said ‘I like what this lady has to say – I would like to hear more’ and I think my smile was as big as it had ever been.