The Elwood Chamber welcomed four new members to its board of directors this year. One of the members is Alicia Macke (formerly Hoose), an employee of Red Gold, an Elwood native, and a new bride. As a former Elwood entrepreneur, Alicia brings a perspective to the Chamber board that is as fresh as it is experienced. As her two-year term gets under way, we are eager to learn more about her and her ideas. A recent Q&A interview with Alicia provides a preview.
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Elwood but moved to Frankton approximately two years ago. I graduated from Elwood High School and Indiana Business College, now known as Harrison College. I have two children, Preston and Ashlyn Hoose. I recently expanded my family and added two more kids - Jake and Anna Macke - when Jerry and I married March 11.
We attend East Main Street Christian Church and are active members of the Heartland Great Banquet. We love anything outdoors – fishing, hunting, quad riding, picnics in the park, or good old bike rides around town.
Q: Tell us about your professional background.
A: I joined the Red Gold team in November 2015 as the Label Inventory Replenishment Coordinator. I started my working career as a waitress at the Jim Dandy here in Elwood, while I attended college. After graduation, I worked at Overhead Door of Indianapolis for ten years and Elwood Orthodontics for three years. In the meantime, I owned and operated H&H Signs for almost eight years before selling it in June 2015.
Q: Why and when did you choose to join the Elwood Chamber?
A: As a previous business owner in Elwood, I saw the benefits of community involvement. I worked on several projects directly with the Elwood Chamber for advertising on many events throughout the year.
Q: What do you see as the primary benefits of being a Chamber member?
A: The primary benefit I saw was that, for each project I worked on with the Chamber, my business name was recognized in some way, which, in turn, benefited my business.
Q: When did you come onto the board?
A: January 2017, after long-time board member Larry Weaver stepped down.
Q: What do you enjoy most about serving on the board and what do you hope to achieve?
A: After selling the business, I realized that working with the community on a daily basis was something I missed. I was tickled to death when Selita and Larry thought I would be a great candidate. I hope to help broaden the horizons and bring new, fresh ideas to the Elwood Chamber of Commerce while representing Red Gold. I am known for my smile and my positive personality, and honestly feel I can be a great addition to the Elwood Chamber Board.
Q: What is your favorite Chamber event?
A: I would have to say the Glass Festival. I had the blessing to enjoy it from behind the booth and as a spectator in the crowd. It is also nice to visit with all the people who come together for all the different activities during the festival. It is like a big town reunion.
Q: What do you see as Elwood’s greatest untapped resource?
A: The Hinds Career Center by far is the greatest untapped resource. Before I started college, I was able to get hands-on experience at State Plating through an internship made possible through the Hinds Career Center. I was enrolled in the IPC – Information Processing Center – class my junior and senior year, which helped develop my love for the business/office atmosphere.
Q: What do you predict for Elwood over the next five years?
A: With the leadership of Mayor Todd Jones and the combined efforts of many people in this community, I see Elwood making large, positive strides toward getting Elwood on the map! We have always been seen as the Heart of Hoosierland. Let’s make sure the rest of Indiana sees that.
Alicia and Jerry, right, pose with their children - Jake Macke, Preston Hoose, Anna Macke, and Ashlyn Hoose.