Chairman of the Board, One Zone Chamber of Commerce
Q: Why do you believe chambers of commerce are important to communities?
A: Chambers of Commerce are absolutely essential. One Zone Chamber of Commerce represents businesses and business development. We work together with our civic and elected officials to build communities. Corporations want to relocate to Hamilton County because their employees want to live, work and play in communities like Carmel and Fishers. They want places that are growing and thriving. They want good schools, a broad range of amenities, nearby parks, a variety of entertainment options and they want to feel safe. They spend their discretionary income in our restaurants, retail stores, and local businesses. As small and large businesses thrive, they increase the tax base, and give back to the community.
Q: What is something that you believe the One Zone Chamber does well?
A: One Zone has a strong voice and has built lasting relationships with leaders in the community. It starts with our CEO and his team. Jack Russell has been instrumental in One Zone’s success. He has energy and passion and loves Hamilton County. He is adored and respected by many civic organizations, business leaders and elected officials. Jack won the Indiana Chamber Executive of the Year Award for 2022. One Zone is often consulted in many of the economic development projects in Hamilton County. Our Carmel and Fishers business committees continue to make an impact to support and advocate for local business development.
Q: What is something you would like the community to know about the Westfield Chamber?
A: One Zone supports and represents all businesses; from sole proprietors to very large corporations. We have a Political Action Committee (PAC) to advocate for businesses and soon we’ll start the One Zone Impact Foundation, a nonprofit arm for charitable and educational purposes. We have a supplier diversity program which partners minority businesses XBE (minority, women, veteran and disabled) with mentors to help them participate in supplier diversity opportunities. . The One Zone Chamber board is diverse and inclusive. We are working with key workplace stakeholders like Ivy Tech, Invest Hamilton County, and the Pursuit Institute to promote job fairs and job boards to help businesses attract and retain workforce. We have a health and wellness committee working on much needed mental health awareness. Our One Zone Women’s Network (OWN) has been a huge success. We’ve had great participation in these events. Our small business hub helps small businesses with education, building connections, and helping them grow their businesses. In addition, we have our traditional luncheons and networking events throughout the year. Our October State of the City in Carmel had over 600 people in attendance to hear Mayor Brainard speak.
Q: What is something you have learned while serving on the chamber board?
A: Our elected officials understand that with good vision and planning, and with the support of the business community, we can build wonderful cities and communities.
Q: What have you enjoyed most serving as the Chair of the Westfield Chamber board of directors?
A: Our board is amazing. The board is very diverse with representatives from different companies and businesses in Hamilton County. There is a lot of experience and wisdom among the board members. There are so many good people with good intentions. I am honored to serve on this board with them. Our board truly exemplifies service above self. You can see and feel the pride the board members have in their jobs and the community.
Q: What other organizations have you been involved with and why is community service important to you?
A: The Rotary Club of Carmel, the Carmel Clay Public Library, MIBOR (Metro Indianapolis Board of Realtors). It’s all about relationships and in order to accomplish great things it requires building trust and working together.
Q: What is your professional role and who do you work for?
A: I have an Allstate insurance agency. This is my 27th year with Allstate and its been a wonderful career.
Q: What is your favorite place/activity in Hamilton County and why?
A: I love the Monon Trail. I love walking, running and biking on the trail. I am also at the Carmel Clay public library either checking out or returning items every week. I Love the library renovation. It’s a great asset to the community.