Chamber of Commerce names Dessie Rogers new director


Rembert steps down; Muchmore assumes new duties

By Nathan Kraatz - [email protected]



Mark Rembert


News Journal file photo

Bekah Muchmore


News Journal file photo

Dessie Rogers is now the chamber’s executive director.


News Journal file photo

As Mark Rembert returns to his role as director of Energize Clinton County, he hopes to continue to grow the projects there as well as develop Pioneer Labs, a kind of community workshop similar to a gym.

Wilmington was a quarterfinalist in the America’s Best Communities competition. The city offered Pioneer Labs as a way to revitalize the city. Though Wilmington didn’t advance beyond the quarterfinals, Rembert said some philanthropy for the project was raised, and he aims to continue to develop it and ultimately bring the idea to fruition.

“It’s a big, complicated project,” he said. “What I’m going to be doing primarily is digging into potential models for what Pioneer Labs could look like” and related research to ensure the project succeeds.

Pioneer Labs would work similar to a gym in that it would allow many people to use shared manufacturing equipment for hobbies, industrial manufacturing or educational opportunities.

ECC also has a Clinton County Community Fellows program, manages the Clinton County Farmer’s Market and partners with Treehouse to offer coding lessons through Reach Clinton County.

Rembert said he hopes to continue the sustainable growth those projects have had.

Dessie Rogers, who will replace Rembert as the executive director of the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, isn’t about to say goodbye.

“It’s been a real privilege working with and learning from Mark over the past several years and I know he will remain a very valuable player in the community and in local economic development in his new path,” Rogers said. “I don’t view it so much as a goodbye but really as the next evolution of our working relationship.”

WILMINGTON — Changes are afoot at the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce with the stepping down of Mark Rembert, the stepping up of Dessie Rogers and the stepping in of Bekah Muchmore.

Rembert, previously the chamber’s executive director, said he will return to his role as director of Energize Clinton County, which he and Taylor Stuckert co-founded in 2008. For the next month, he will remain available as a consultant to help ensure a smooth transition.

“It felt like a good time to transition and turn things over to Dessie and let her carry things forward,” Rembert said. “Every organization to stay healthy needs a certain amount of turnover and change. I feel like I’ve given a lot to the chamber and the chamber is in a completely different position today than it was when I took over.”

Rembert also said he has enjoyed his tenure with the chamber and hopes to see continued growth in the local economy.

“I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to serve the community,” he said. “It’s exciting to see where Wilmington and Clinton County are going and it’s been especially thrilling in the last few years to see growth return to the local economy and local businesses.”

Rogers, now the executive director and formerly the membership coordinator, said she is excited about expanding her role in the chamber.

She said she looks forward to “continuing the momentum that Mark and the board have created over the last several years” in expanding members, member benefits and projects.

“I’m looking forward to continuing that trajectory and having the chamber serve as a valuable resource to the entire business community and Clinton County,” Rogers said. “With any transition there’s some nerves. I feel very confident in the foundation of the chamber, our current board members and really the initiatives I’ve worked with in partnership with Mark for the last several years.”

“I’m extremely excited about the future of the chamber,” Rembert said, adding that the growth of chamber members has largely been due to Rogers’ work over the last three years. “I’m really excited to see where she takes it.”

Bekah Muchmore, the executive director of Main Street Wilmington, will become the marketing and communications director of the chamber as well.

“I’m very excited to welcome Bekah onto the chamber staff and really continue to solidity the partnership between the chamber and Main Street Wilmington,” Rogers said. “I think it’s an exciting development for both organizations to continue working very closely together and our initiative to continue to improve local business conditions.”

Board president Jonathan McKay is also excited about the transitions.

“Mark has done a phenomenal job of running the chamber and making sure that the members needs are met. … and literally making it a truly viable organization in the downtown and in the county,” McKay said. “I want to thank Dessie for all the work she has done a great as our membership coordinator and we’ll know she’ll do a great job as our new director.”

McKay also welcomed Muchmore, saying, “She’ll be a great addition to the chamber with all of her knowledge and go get ’em attitude.”

“We’re very excited about what the future will bring,” McKay said.

The chamber serves as a community advocate to create an environment in which businesses of all sizes can thrive and grow. Its programs aim to support businesses to improve the area economy and enhance residents’ quality of life.

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.

Mark Rembert
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Mark-Rembert-1.jpgMark Rembert News Journal file photo

Bekah Muchmore
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_fbrightIMG_1373.jpgBekah Muchmore News Journal file photo

Dessie Rogers is now the chamber’s executive director.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Dessie2.jpgDessie Rogers is now the chamber’s executive director. News Journal file photo
Rembert steps down; Muchmore assumes new duties

By Nathan Kraatz

[email protected]

As Mark Rembert returns to his role as director of Energize Clinton County, he hopes to continue to grow the projects there as well as develop Pioneer Labs, a kind of community workshop similar to a gym.

Wilmington was a quarterfinalist in the America’s Best Communities competition. The city offered Pioneer Labs as a way to revitalize the city. Though Wilmington didn’t advance beyond the quarterfinals, Rembert said some philanthropy for the project was raised, and he aims to continue to develop it and ultimately bring the idea to fruition.

“It’s a big, complicated project,” he said. “What I’m going to be doing primarily is digging into potential models for what Pioneer Labs could look like” and related research to ensure the project succeeds.

Pioneer Labs would work similar to a gym in that it would allow many people to use shared manufacturing equipment for hobbies, industrial manufacturing or educational opportunities.

ECC also has a Clinton County Community Fellows program, manages the Clinton County Farmer’s Market and partners with Treehouse to offer coding lessons through Reach Clinton County.

Rembert said he hopes to continue the sustainable growth those projects have had.

Dessie Rogers, who will replace Rembert as the executive director of the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, isn’t about to say goodbye.

“It’s been a real privilege working with and learning from Mark over the past several years and I know he will remain a very valuable player in the community and in local economic development in his new path,” Rogers said. “I don’t view it so much as a goodbye but really as the next evolution of our working relationship.”

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