Board of Directors

 

Randy Hendrixson,  Executive Director - Randy took over as the Executive Director in September of 2013 after serving as Vice President on the Board of Directors for 2 years. Buchanan resident since 2008 however, has been very familiar to Buchanan since his child hood. He grew up with motocross in his veins and visited Red Bud Motocross track on many weekends during his youth.  In addition Randy is the owner/operator of DPM Events since 1996 which is an audio/visual event company based right here in Buchanan. In 2015 Randy and his wife Jessica purchased the Berrien County Record Newspaper.  He grew up in Paw Paw and graduated from Paw Paw High School and attendent Western Michigan University.  Randy’s passions are being a husband to wife Jessica, and a father of three children, building his business and yes, still occasionally riding motocross.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jerry Flenar, President - Jerry is currently the active President of the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce and Buchanan-Galien Lion's Club. Formerly Jerry has served on the Board for 10 years and was President for 2 of those. Jerry retired from the Compass group after over 27 years there. Other positions held in the Buchanan community are Buchanan Community Schools B of Dir. (13 years – 8 as President) , 27 years in the Buchanan Lions Club (President and most offices) and member of the Friends of Oakridge Cemetery.  On the board of the Friends of McCoy Creek Trail as well as being an instrumental part of the annual "Buckteen Reunion" event.  Major accomplishments include being married to Lee Ann for over 45 years, 2 Great kids and 5 Wonderful Grandkids. I very much enjoy volunteering and giving back to the Community of Buchanan which has treated my family very well over the years. Most of my retirement will be volunteering, hunting, fishing, time at Bachelor’s Island and traveling with Lee Ann and friends.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Karol Behrle, Vice President  - Karol is the Assistant Branch Manager of United Federal Credit Union in Buchanan.  She has been with UFCU for seven years coming in as a teller and then loan officer prior to her current position.  Karol graduated from Michigan Lutheran High School and went on to obtain a degree in Travel and Tourism from Southeastern Academy in Kissimmee, Florida.  She spent 25 years as a travel agent and traveled the world extensively.  Over the years, Karol has been involved in Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Lakeland Auxiliary Board, Junior Achievement, St. Joe Kickers Sport Club and the Executive Professional Women’s Association.  Karol also owned her own business for 10 + years as a consultant/team manager for Tastefully Simple.  Karol grew up in Baroda and moved to Niles after college.  She and her husband Chris built two homes and moved to the Buchanan area four years ago.  They have one daughter, Lucie and two German shepherds named Liesel and Schatzi.  Karol’s hobbies include cooking, entertaining friends, traveling, making crafts and taking the pontoon out for a ride on the St. Joe River over the weekends. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fran Terry - Treasurer -  A long time presence in the banking business, Fran is the current Manager of Country Heritage Credit Union since 2000. She came to the credit union with 20 years of banking experience under her belt as Branch Manager for Shoreline Bank in both Galien and Three Oaks. She has been affiliated with the Chamber in the past serving as a board director for 6 years, holding the position of V.P. and President. She had 14 years on the DDA/TIFA board as well as Miss Buchanan Inc. She is active with the Michigan Credit Union League and a mother of one daughter, Dawn.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stacey Carlin - Secretary, Stacey is a third generation Buchanan Buck and is steeped in the culture and traditions of the town. Stacey holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education and 14 years of teaching experience at the secondary level in various capacities. Her teaching background includes:  Program Instructor for The Close Up Foundations's civic education program in Washington, D.C., Election Training Specialist for the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections, and Social Studies Teacher and Department Chairperson for Buchanan High School. Stacey currently serves as a licensed Realtor with D MottL Realty Group, LLC based in Buchanan and enjoys helping clients navigate the buying and selling process in beautiful Southwest Michigan.  In addition to her career in real estate, she also serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce. In this role she enjoys planning and participating in the various events sponsored by the Chamber, including Bucktown Trivia Night and the Annual Christmas Parade, and is committed to the growth of Buchanan's business district and the Chamber’s continued community outreach. Most of her days are spent chasing around three little Bucks (Cy, Katala, and Kaliana) and carting them back and forth between the ice rink and the ball field. She enjoys raising her family in the same town that her parents and grandparents did and is honored to wear the maroon and white.   Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Ted Chase, Ted has been working in the health insurance industry for over 14 years focusing on sales and client services.  Along with this experience, he also spent time working in a CPA firm. Ted is a graduate of Ferris State University, earning his bachelor’s degree in Accounting.  He is a licensed life and health producer in the States of Michigan and Indiana. Ted’s knowledge of employee benefits and accounting and financial practices enables him to help clients achieve company goals, maintain cost effectiveness and provide high quality programs. Along with industry related associations, Ted serves his community as a member of his local fire department along with promoting the efforts of his Chamber of Commerce by serving on the Board of Directors.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dorothy Mottl,  Dorothy, owner of D. MottL Realty Group, operates a Real Estate Brokerage on Front Street in downtown Buchanan. A graduate and property owner of Buchanan, she also has a Master’s in Education Leadership and has over twenty years experience in Education, served as successful educational grant writer, and Professional Presenter/Speaker at National Conferences. She currently holds a director position on the BACC Board and served on Buchanan DDA Board. More than anything, she enjoys spending time with family outdoors and supporting the community of Buchanan by volunteering her time.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

William Marx,  City Manager/Police Chief is in his first year as city representative to the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce Board. He has been employed by the City of Buchanan a total of ten years, 2.5 years as City Manager and 7.5 years as Police Chief. Prior to his position in Buchanan, Bill Marx served as Chief of the180 member Berrien county Sheriff’s Department. The Chief currently is a Member of the Buchanan American Legion, Buchanan Moose Lodge, The Buchanan Lions Club and a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 96. As Marx will tell it, his most proud life accomplishment is raising two great kids who are off being productive members of society and each starting families of their own. He has several hobbies, which include family, house boating and fishing. His one and true passion is delivering on public expectations that local government provide the services needed to help support and maintain a clean, safe and enjoyable place to live. City Manager Bill Marx’s vision is to communicate a local City Government perspective on BACC projects and ideas as well as provide resource support on mutually beneficial events and projects that promotes local commerce.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Karla Hurlbut,  Karla is serving her fourth term as a director of the Chamber representing the Board of Education. A graduate of Grand Valley State University with a Masters from Western Michigan University, Karla spent five years working as a teacher’s consultant for Berrien County, twelve years as an elementary teacher at Buchanan’s Stark Elementary and 10 years as the Stark Elementary Principal. She currently is in her second year as co-principal at the Buchanan Middle School. She is very involved in community service and events. She is also an active board member of M.E.M. S.P.A. ( Middle School and Elementary School Principal Association) Karla’s passion is working with the children and young adults in Buchanan and showing them the importance of community service.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Andrea van der Laan,  Andrea is the Superintendent of Buchanan Community Schools. Andrea is a proud graduate of Hammond High School, Indiana. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Calumet College in Whiting and later went on to complete her Master's Degree in Curriculum Development, Research and Classroom Instruction through Michigan State. In 2006, she completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on preventing early learning failure at the first grade level. Andrea is also a Senior Faculty member of the William Glasser Institute and has trained staff from all over the world in Dr. Glasser's concepts of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy. She has taught in grades k-12, in multiage settings, and was, at one time, a Literacy Coach for the Wyoming Michigan Public Schools. Andrea is a resident of Buchanan and looking forward to working with the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sarah Gault,  Sarah grew up in Buchanan.  She got her BA from Western Michigan University in Communications and Journalism.  After college she moved to Knoxville, TN and mainly worked as a meeting and event planner for the next 25 years.  Volunteering and travel continues to be her favorite things to do.  In Knoxville she volunteered for many different non-profits, The Children’s Hospital and taught piano at the Joy of Music School which catered to the inner city children.  She moved back to Buchanan about 5 years ago and has been the Youth Services Coordinator at the Buchanan District Library for the past four years.  She loves working with the kids, planning events, and being Miss Sarah for Story Time.  She is also the Development Coordinator for the library working on fund raising for the library’s Open Doors, Open Books, Open Minds campaign for the building renovation.  Currently, she serves on the Buchanan Commons Committee, work closely with the Tin Shop, and sits on the board of the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce.  “Beiing in southwest Michigan has brought back many fond memories of growing up in the ‘70’s.  I love walking on the beaches, riding my bike around town, and always meeting new people.  I was honored to be asked to be on the Chamber. “  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rhonda Harrington, Rhonda has been a Berrien County resident for most of her life, having lived in Buchanan for over 20 years.  She has been with Edgewater Bank for 22 of those years, starting as a teller in 1994 and working through the mortgage area until taking up the Buchanan Branch Officer position in March of 2014.  Rhonda loves working with the public and helping others achieve their financial and mortgage goals.  She has volunteered and served on committees for several area non-profit organizations, including: Buchanan-Galien Lion’s Club, Perc Club, Girls on the Run, Buchanan Reading Mentor Program, Relay for Life, Niles Chamber of Commerce, Buchanan Chili Walk, Buchanan’s Thrill on the Hill, College Club at Buchanan High School, and the Miss Buchanan Pageant.  Rhonda is always looking for ways to help when there is a need within her community.  She enjoys mingling around town and visiting with all the people.    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jeremy Schaeffer, Currently serving as the Director, Bertrand Crossing for Lake Michigan College since February, 2016 providing oversight of campus operations and coordination with services from other campuses.  Started working at Lake Michigan College in August of 2012 as an Admissions Specialist and also held the role as Director, Student Services Bertrand Crossing. Since 2011, has also been the Assistant Coach for Men’s Basketball at Lake Michigan College.  Completed a Master’s of Applied Arts in Sports Leadership and Administration from Concordia University Chicago in December of 2015.  Earned a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts from Central Michigan University in Sports Studies.  Earned an Associate’s of Business Administration from Lake Michigan College in 2009 while participating in both baseball and basketball.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ralph McDonald,   Ralph moved from South Bend, Indiana to the Buchanan area in 1977. He owns and operates RMC Quality Construction and started the business in1984. Ralph purchased the original Habicht Ford building on Red Bud Trail in 1999. He has served on the Buchanan City DDA, is a current member of the City planning commission and joined the Buchanan Lions Club in 2001. He has been a member of the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce since 2003. Ralph enjoys collecting classic cars and attending car shows.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Greg Schuman,  Greg Schuman was born in Columbia City, IN, and has also lived in Illinois and Wisconsin before coming to the Michiana area in 2006 to be the Membership and Marketing Director at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA. He is now the owner of Fitness Industry here in Buchanan which he opened on January 1, 2013. He and his wife Jessie Have been married for twelve years. They have three children: Molly (8), Leah (6), and Jack (3). Besides exercising and spending time with his family, Greg enjoys golfing, fishing, and traveling.  Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Patrick Swem, Patrick is a fourth generation Buchanan resident going back to his great grandfather, Lowell Swem.  He has been married to his wife, Kristen Swem for three years.  They are homeowners in Buchanan and live with their two boxers, Tyson and Bruce on Moccasin Street.  Patrick has worked in many capacities at Honor Credit Union for over five years.  Starting out as a teller in high school, working his way up to the Business Service Advisor currently.  His position allows him to work with area businesses on all aspects of commercial banking from accounts to financing.  Patrick looks forward to representing the community through his volunteer efforts on the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.