DALLAS -- Mike Mathison believes the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce needs to be more than "just something to belong to."
The Salem entrepreneur has been named the new executive director of the Chamber. One of his first goals, he said, will be providing tangible services to Chamber members.
People need to see a real benefit to Chamber membership, he said. Mathison said he is eager to begin exploring the possibilities.
Mathison is replacing Lori Wilcox, who left the Chamber last November after 12 years as its executive director. He starts work March 12.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It will be a nice change of pace for me. I'm a big proponent of small communities."
Brian Dalton, vice president of the Chamber board, said Mathison brings a strong background in marketing, sales and training to the job.
Mathison was chosen from a field of seven very strong candidates, he said.
"He is very interested in Dallas and working with the community. He is very dynamic."
Before being selected for the Chamber post, Mathison managed the day-to-day operations of ToolsAmerica Inc. Before that, he was with Service Intelligence, where he helped monitor quality at Starbucks, VoiceStream, Wells Fargo/Northwest Bank, Northern Trust, Eagle Hardware and Garden and other companies.
He has also worked with West Coast Bank, where he developed sales straties, started incentive programs and trained sales people.
Mathison got his start in the financial industry with Deluxe Corporation, where he was responsible for the management, sales and distribution of computer and training products to more than 200 financial institutions.
He serves on the board of ToolsAmerica Inc. and is actively involved with Oregon State University Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Board as the chapter counselor.
As director of the Chamber, Mathison said he wants to recruit more volunteers -- especially senior citizens. "We don't use retirees enough in our every day lives," he said, "and they have all the experience."