INFLUENCER: TERESA BOHNEN

INFLUENCER: TERESA BOHNEN

Influencer
Teresa Bohnen, president
St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce
St. Cloud

Teresa Bohnen is chair of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives and represents that organization on the Minnesota Chamber Board of Directors.

What book are you reading right now?
Eat Clean Recharged! By Tosca Reno

Who inspires you the most? Why?
In the Chamber world it is and always will be David Olson. The longer he is gone, the more I appreciate what he was able to do in his role as Minnesota Chamber president. He was a master at many, many things, and inspires me to be the best chamber executive that I am able to be. Every week something comes up that causes me to remember him and miss him.
  
What do you enjoy most about Minnesota?
How intelligent and civilized the people who live here are. Well, most of them …

What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?
The pursuit of health and fitness and drinking fine wine with good friends. Yes, those two things seem diametrically opposed.

What drew you to local chamber work, and to stay in it as a career?
I was serving as executive director of St. Cloud’s United Way. I loved working with all the business leaders, but never exactly “fit” in the not-for-profit world. When our Chamber needed a president, I applied and was fortunate to be successful. Nineteen years later, I still love coming to work every day. Each one is different and carries its own challenges, opportunities and FUN!  I love my job.

What is your advice to those entering the chamber business?
Build a top-notch, talented staff and protect them with everything you have. Always remember, your time is your greatest resource. Don’t waste any of it, and don’t allow others to dictate how you use it.

How does your community benefit from the St Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce being a key advocacy partner with the Minnesota Chamber?
Our Chamber has always had a close relationship with the Minnesota Chamber. We reap all the benefits of the policy work developed through the careful processes of the Minnesota Chamber, and several people from our community volunteer on the policy development committees. Our partnership keeps us both strong as we can generally deliver our local legislators on key issues, and we aren’t reinventing the wheel.