Randy Hauck has been involved in the Minot and surrounding communities for years, and that involvement deepened when he became the new chairman of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce Oct. 1.
Hauck is a longtime Verendrye Electric Cooperative employee, having started with the company in 1984. He will start his 29th year in December. Currently the assistant general manager and member services manager, Hauck has a laundry list of responsibilities to take care of every day he goes to work.
"I'm in charge of most things that are customer oriented. I'm in charge of customer service, which would be our marketing programs - we sell heating equipment, water heaters, things like that," Hauck said. "I'm in charge of billing, collections, all communication pieces like our monthly magazine, website, annual report, anything that's published, basically, would come through my department."
Randy Hauck, assistant general manager and member services manager of Verendrye Electric Cooperative, as well as chairman of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, takes his morning coffee at Verendrye’s Minot office Wednesday. Hauck assumed the role of Chamber chairman Oct. 1.
He is also in charge of all the programs Verendrye has for its members. This includes things like load management, where people can put loads off-peak to get a cheaper rate, and solar water pumping, which is used for pumping water for cattle into troughs in remote locations.
Hauck has been involved with the Chamber in one way or another through Verendrye for around 20 years. He attended committee meetings, Business After Hours events and Verendrye ribbon cuttings.
"We've always been very active on the military side because we serve the Air Force base," Hauck said. "The Chamber has a military affairs committee."
During the past five years his involvement increased due to encouragement from his boss, Bruce Carlson, general manager of Verendrye. Plus there were some employment changes that added a few responsibilities to Hauck's workload.
He was elected to the Chamber board three years ago, served as vice chairman two years ago, was chairman-elect this past year, and became chairman for a one-year term this fall.
Hauck said his term as chairman will be made much easier by the Chamber's staff, which he said really know their jobs.
"The Minot Area Chamber of Commerce is in great shape. They've got a great president in John MacMartin and a great, very senior staff there," Hauck said. "There's many programs that are well run today and well attended."
Hauck said his responsibility as chairman is to promote the values of the Chamber, chair the monthly board meetings and executive committee meetings and be the lead cheerleader for the Chamber in all its endeavors.
One of Hauck's biggest goals is to continue increasing the Chamber's membership during the upcoming year. He said it's grown by about 50 members in the past three years, bringing the total to around 750.
"I'd like to see that trend continue," Hauck said. "Then my other objective is to encourage our 750 members to be involved in the Chamber on a monthly basis - attending a task force or a committee meeting, or something as simple as Business After Hours."
Business after hours is a regular event running from September through May that is hosted by area businesses and costs $5 to attend.
"The business provides food, there's a cash bar, and that particular business will do a little report about its business. It usually runs from 5 to 7 p.m.," Hauck said. "It's an opportunity to mingle with other Chamber members in more of a social environment."
"That's kind of the granddaddy of Business After Hours," Hauck said.
One of the biggest challenges Hauck sees in the upcoming year is maintaining the high quality of life in Minot, and helping the city to keep moving forward with much-needed improvements to that quality of life.
"One thing the Chamber board is 100 percent in favor of is the bond issue on the school expansion. We see the need that we have to have more schools, and 24 portable classrooms scattered around the city probably isn't the way to educate kids long-term," Hauck said. "Well, what's the next step? You have to build buildings, and that takes money. The way schools get money is to pass a bond issue."
In addition to his various roles in Minot, Hauck also served as the chairman of the Velva Chamber of Commerce 20 years ago. While Minot might have half of Verendrye's customers, smaller neighboring communities are just as important to it, according to Hauck.
"One of our core values is commitment to community," Hauck said. "We try to be involved not just in Minot, but in all the communities that we serve."
One month into his term, Hauck said things are going well. He said the Chamber serves an important role in the community and the work it does is definitely appreciated by its members.
"It's very enjoyable. It's certainly an honor and a privilege to serve as the chair. It's a great organization, it's got a great staff and it's been in place for 90 years now," Hauck said. "The things that are in place we know work, and businesses certainly appreciate them because most of the committees and the task force are very well attended. That tells you that the people appreciate what they're learning at these committees."