Katrina McGuire became president of the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce in January. She replaced Sandy Oslance, who left the chamber in October.
McGuire now oversees the chamber, which has 350 members.
The southern California native went to college in Michigan, earned a business degree from William Tynsdale College in Farmington Hills and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Central Michigan University.
McGuire recently spoke with reporter Joseph Bustos about being the new chamber president.
Bustos: How did you get into the job?
McGuire: We moved here to Lake in the Hills four and a half years ago from Michigan. The town we were in, I was very involved. I ran a community organization, I worked with the Chamber of Commerce ... served on the local school board, I was very civic-minded. Upon moving here, for a position with [Career Education Corp.], I traveled so much ... that I wasn’t part of my community. When this position came up, I was strongly considering it so I could be involved in this community I live.
Bustos: Why is it important to be a part of your community?
McGuire: My whole life, my father used to say you can’t save the world in one day ... If you don’t think something is right, you can’t just flap your gums. You need to use your hands and feet.
Bustos: What goals do you have for the chamber?
McGuire: My goal right now is to get to know my members, to strengthen the relationship the Chamber of Commerce has with it current members ... My goal for the chamber this next year is to build upon those relationships, so we can really provide value to our members, to our community, to our businesses. ... We should be engaged with community efforts, whether it’s with the environment, whether it’s with commerce, whether it’s plain old having a good time. All that is part of a strong community.
Bustos: From a resident’s point of view, what can they get out of a chamber?
McGuire: The hometown guide. The people that advertise in there,... Those are businesses investing in their community because they are investing in the hometown guide. ... What they get out of the chamber is referrals. It’s a great way for residents to have another level of trust in the business they’re hiring to do their work.
Bustos: What events do you have planned or want to do at this Chamber of Commerce?
McGuire: We’re still going to have some of the same events. The expo is coming up. We’re planning a golf outing have in August or September .... We’re going to do cruise nights again this summer, but they’re going to be in different locations. We’re going to have our annual dinner and awards .... We’re going to do our regular business things, but give us the opportunity to surprise you.
Bustos: When there’s a new business coming to town, what’s your pitch to have them join the chamber?
McGuire: Number one: Promotion of their business. Number two: Get them connected with the right people in the community to network to help also support their business. A chamber of commerce ... it’s not just this office that’s going to promote their business, it’s members that’s going to promote their business.
Bustos: What’s the fun part of this job?
McGuire: The people. I’m a people person. Some people get drained by that, but I just love it.
The McGuire low down
Who is she: Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce president
Town: Lake in the Hills
Family: She and her husband, Joel, have three children, Lidia, 20, Anna, 18, and Connor, 15.
Favorite meal: Borscht, a Russian beet soup.
Favorite movie: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca.”