Rohwedder ready to serve Waterloo Chamber - Republic-Times | News

Rohwedder ready to serve Waterloo Chamber

By on May 16, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Roberta Rohwedder

The Waterloo Chamber of Commerce welcomed a fresh face into its executive director position this week, and she looks forward to the excitement of the new opportunity.

Roberta Rohwedder, 28, resigned after eight years as a universal banker at Midland States Bank to become the executive director. When she heard about the position being posted online, Rohwedder said she hadn’t planned on leaving the bank but was curious to find out more.

“I went to see what the job was, and I thought, ‘This sounds like what I do now. It sounds like fun.’ And I thought it would be nice to get away from the legalities of banking.” 

Coming into the position, Rohwedder said she hopes to be able to use her administrative professional degree from Hickey College. She also said working for the chamber should allow for more creativity.

“I’m very excited and nervous,” she expressed. “I’m nervous because it’s new.”

Asked how she feels about following behind retired executive director Jenny Bullock, Rohwedder said she hopes to glean some insights from her about the position.

“I’m glad I can pick her brain. That’s one of the first things I want to do is ask her some questions, because she’s done this for so long,” Rohwedder relayed. “And she did really good. She’s detail-oriented and organized.”

On top of that, Rohwedder said with confidence that the chamber board would help point her in the right direction if she is ever in need of help.

Rohwedder also indicated she is not looking to make any immediate changes or bring in fresh ideas in the beginning.  Instead, she said she wants to learn more about her responsibilities and about the chamber’s involvement in different events.

“I want to get in and learn so I don’t have an idea off the bat. I just want to soak up as much knowledge as I can,” she said.

Additionally, Rohwedder shared that she anticipates working well with everyone on the chamber board. Waterloo Chamber of Commerce President Leigh McNicholas echoed those sentiments.

“The entire board is very happy. We’re pleased with the selection,” McNicholas said. “She’s a go-getter. We think she’s going to do a great job. She’s very energetic and we can’t wait for her to get started.”

During her time at the bank, Rohwedder volunteered at the annual Porta Westfalica Festival in downtown Waterloo. She said she looks forward to helping with that event in her capacity as executive director.

“I know Military Heritage Day is another big one that’s coming up,” she added. “(Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith) has already been in the office twice.”

Having worked in banking, Rohwedder said she can use her experience working with a multitude of different people to help her in the position.

“It’s the community I grew up with,” she added. “So there are plenty of people I know or have heard their names around town. And I’m good with faces.”

Rohwedder graduated from Waterloo High School in 2007. She and her husband, Corey, have a 2-year-old son, Corbin.

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net