The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

August 1, 2013

Oskaloosa Chamber director retiring

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa Chamber Executive Director Jon Sullivan is retiring on Aug. 9.

“I’ve been fortunate to have this job for the last eight years,” he said.

Sullivan became the Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group executive director after a 38-year career with JCPenney.

Sullivan said he wanted to give back to the community through using his time and talents at the Chamber office.

“It’s time to move on. I’m 76 years old and none of us lives forever,” he said.

Now, Sullivan said he will be happy to spend time with his wife and family.

“We’ll stay here,” Sullivan said. “We have a younger son who lives in Ankeny with his family. We’ve enjoyed it here.”

Sullivan believes Oskaloosa is a special place due to its leaders and volunteers.

“I’ve worked with some of the finest people,” Sullivan said of Oskaloosa’s volunteers. “Our community is blessed with good leadership.”

Sullivan believes that the “spirit of volunteerism is a sign of a good community.”

As an example, for the RAGBRAI stop on Oskaloosa on July 25, more than 500 volunteers stepped up to welcome the thousands of people who visited the community.

Sullivan is proud that during the RAGBRAI stop, Oskaloosa showed off its town square, named in the top 15 beautiful towns squares in America by TravelandLeisure.com, and the only Midwest community named to that list.

Sullivan said his favorite part of his job is working with people and seeing what they could accomplish together.

He gave credit to the staff at the Oskaloosa Chamber office.

The Chamber staff is composed of “true professional people,” he said.

Sullivan said his favorite events are the ones that the city has traditionally held — The Main Street Lighted Christmas Parade, Sweet Corn Serenade, Friday After Five, and Eggs and Issues. Sullivan said his staff and volunteers maintains the quality of the events year after year.

“You just try to make something good better,” he said.

Sullivan said there will be a retirement party for him on Aug. 9. However, he doesn’t want an elaborate event.

“I’ve retired once,” he said.

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