As the New Year approaches, we are excited for all the opportunities and possibilities ahead with our 2024-25 Board of Directors!
The newest board member is Eddie Ulrich with Fuzzy Duck. As a long standing Chamber member and Wayzata business owner, Eddie Ulrich brings a great perspective to the Wayzata Area Chamber board to help lead our future. His creativity, and enthusiasm will surely help us be a positive force in our community, promoting, serving and connecting our Members! We asked Eddie a couple of questions as he steps into this new role.
I love Wayzata and I feel blessed to both live and work in this community. It’s clear the people I live and work down the street from also love Wayzata. So, when I was asked to serve on the board of an organization like our Chamber, I felt both honored and excited because it allows me an opportunity to give back to the community I love and just maybe – play some small role in making it even better!
To be completely honest (especially with myself), this isn’t the type of position I would normally seek out. To some degree, I think it was that self-awareness that motivated me. I’ve been in business long enough to know that staying in your comfort zone doesn’t exactly generate growth. You have to take some chances, try new things and if nothing else, you walk away wiser for it. It also didn’t hurt that I knew many of the existing board members as well as the Chamber staff. I knew they were good people and therefore I knew this would be a safe environment for me to be in. I could be myself and bring something to the table that could be perceived as valuable.
I’ve owned and run my marketing agency, Fuzzy Duck, for over 30 years and as with any small business owner or entrepreneur, I have worn many hats and learned many lessons. The learning continues on a daily basis and in my case, I feel like some of my best lessons and biggest realizations have come in the last 5 years. During that time I have finally learned to be more transparent with my team, identify shared values, establish a clear mission and clarify my long term goals so they could become OUR clear vision for the future. I have also learned the strength of having a trusted team to help me get there. Our weekly leadership meetings have provided insight into our company’s strengths and weaknesses and most importantly created accountability and action items that lead to results. So yes, I have 30+ years of experience in branding, messaging, design and marketing – but I also feel I know a bit about functional organizations and I look forward to actively contributing to this one.
As I often tell our own clients, when it comes to chamber membership – you get out of it what you put into it. If all you’re planning to do as a member is be listed in the online directory – well, congratulations – you have the SEO benefits of an inbound link to your website. But if you’d like to get MORE out of your membership – trust me, it’s here in the form of;
- New relationships that can become so strong they bring new meaning to the words “business friendship.”
- Community involvement – an authentic presence that goes beyond street banners with your company name.
- And organic business development where people are actually seeking out ways to work together.
I’ve always been proud to be a member of the Wayzata Business Community and its Chamber. To me, the relationships – both professional and personal – that I have developed with other business owners is what makes Wayzata feel like a small town to me. Whether we’ve worked together or not, I sense of a strong feeling of community with every business owner I meet. A “membership” that goes beyond the directory and delivers an unspoken acknowledgement that while we must face our own individual business challenges alone – somehow, we’re still here for each other.