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DOWNEY – The best way to describe Jan Scott, who was installed last June 29 as the 108th president of the Downey Chamber of Commerce, is she’s a ‘people’ person.
This is amply manifested by her working attitude at Pacific Western Bank, where she has served for over ten years, the last seven as AVP account relationship officer. She says, “Since we are a community bank, we [try to] get involved with the community. My job is to be out with the public all the time as a relationship builder [for the bank]. Dealing with people whom I know is ideal.”
This is no stretch for Jan. She had already been involved with the chamber a few years prior to joining the bank as the representative of the Wenzel records store which her family owned and ran for years at the southern boundary of Downey. After the store’s closure, she worked for three years at Sam’s Club, then actually worked for the chamber for a year as membership/sales director before hiring on with Pacific Western as business developer.
Thus her business instincts and human relations skills were honed even then. She began her stint as chairman of the 20-odd -member Ambassador subcommittee at about the same time she joined Pacific Western. She remained in this capacity until she became chamber president.
It’s not difficult to see the linkage between her bank’s business philosophy with its emphasis on community relations (“We are a very strong and stable community bank”) to her Ambassadorial work with the chamber. The functions of the subcommittee which she has overseen the last ten years are, in addition to attending meetings once a month, to serve as the welcoming arm of the chamber, soliciting door prizes for mixers, delivering welcome bags to new members, sending letters to new business licensees, and meeting and greeting guests at mixers and ribbon cuttings-all requiring gracious social skills, and all aimed at nurturing positive relationships especially with incoming new members and further enrichment of already functioning relationships with veteran members.
“The job of each of us here at the bank,” Jan says, “is customer service. It’s a pleasure to work here. And I’ve got the nicest boss (Lyle Nelson) anybody can ever have.”
Jan firmly subscribes as well to the chamber’s mission, which has been stated as “serving as the leading spokesman for and as the representative of business in Downey.” This declaration subsumes all of the chamber’s essential themes: “uniting business and professional people and firms into a central agency which lends itself to improving business and building a better community, directing its energies toward improving the community and conditions under which business is conducted, and enabling its members to accomplish collectively what no one can do individually.”
As information center, the chamber can help somebody new to the city, she says, adding: “People call for referrals all the time. Even oldtimers sometimes are at a loss and don’t know whom or where to call for that certain information. The chamber can help here.”
There are a lot of ways members can help the community and one another, she says: “Areas where we can do some good include education, transportation, crime prevention, energy conservation, and health care.”
Thus, “During my term,” Jan said at her installation, “I plan to increase membership, remain financially sound and encourage [more pro-active] volunteers. Knowing how important you members are, I will be accessible to do everything in my power to help make your membership as worthwhile as mine has proven to be… As members of the chamber, we volunteer our services, giving countless hours of effort to make our home, the city of Downey, a fun, safe, clean, respectful, family-oriented community. As a whole, we will continue to promote our local businesses, strive to coordinate family-friendly events and remain proud to say we live in Downey, California.”`
Born in South Gate, Jan moved here to Downey forty years ago. Divorced in 1983, she has two grown sons-Brian, who owns and runs his own company in Peoria, Arizona and Chris, whose most recent assignment last year as an executive for Matson Shipping Lines has taken him to Shanghai. She has two grandsons, Shane and Chad, courtesy of Brian. Her mom, Maxine, lives with her; her dad, Tom, died three years ago. (“We’re a close-knit family, so I take care of her”)
Jan says her memberships as well with both the Soroptimist and Woman’s Clubs of Downey, along with her association with the chamber, “have made me not only a well-rounded, not to mention a better, person but they’ve gained me priceless lifelong friendships.”
Among her cherished accolades are citations as 2003 Chamber Volunteer of the Year and
Director of the Year in 2005.
Published: July 14, 2011 – Volume 10 – Issue 13