By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Change is happening at the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, with Vice President and Director of Small Business Development Wendy Fichter leaving for a new job.
Fichter is heading to New York City to become president and CEO of the American World Trade Chamber of Commerce.
The AWTCC had been watching the work that she was doing at the DACC before reaching out to her, Fichter said.
“The American World Trade Chamber of Commerce contacted me about six months ago about the job,” Fichter said. “I had no interest at first, but the more I thought about it the more it became a good idea.”
Fichter began working with the Dearborn Heights Chamber of Commerce eight years ago as executive director of Small Business Development.
Three years ago she led the merger of the Heights and Dearborn chambers into the current chamber. She still held her position as executive director of Small Business Development and last year became vice president of the DACC.
Fichter’s new position with the AWTCC will be similar to the one she had in Dearborn, but on a larger scale.
“I will be helping national exporting companies with compliance solutions,” she said. “I am excited to have an impact on businesses on a national level.”
Fichter said she is exited for the future but will always remember her time at the Dearborn chamber.
“I am going to miss my co-workers, relationships with small business owners and all the city organizations,” she said. “Change is always hard but there is a great staff here in Dearborn.”
A going away party was held at the DACC offices May 21 filled with Fichter’s friends and co-workers.
“I will miss her dearly,” Jackie Lovejoy, Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce President said. “She is a wonderful team member with a great set of eyes that I always trusted. She always had the members’ best interest in mind.”
Renee Aloe, director of Membership Services spoke about Fichter as a true leader and champion.
“I wish her luck in her new and well deserved position,” she said. “As a leader Wendy wasted no time to seize an opportunity.”
Director of Events Ronald Hinrichs said Fichter had a significant impact during her time at the chamber.
“I am very saddened that she is leaving,” he said. “She had such a positive effect on small businesses.”
The chamber May 22 announced the hiring of Kelli Vanden Bosch as their new director of Small Business Development.
“Were excited about the future of the chamber and business commerce,” Hinrichs said.
Christina Werner, director of Travel and Tourism for the DACC and Fichter’s said she is going to miss working with her mother on a daily bias.
“My mom has owned Scottie Travel, a small business she currently runs out of her home,” Werner said. “She used that knowledge to work hard and help small businesses in the area.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)