Hoag comes home to serve Monticello chamber

Jan Hoag
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors hired a new chamber director.

     A familiar face to many in the area, Jan Hoag started her new job on Feb. 27.

     Hoag is a 1972 graduate of Monticello High School. From there, she jumped right into the travel industry.

     “My aunts always traveled,” said Hoag of the interest. “I’ve just always enjoyed it myself from an early age. It’s amazing what you can see and do out there!”

     As a certified travel agent, Hoag worked with several agencies in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area.

     Hoag then migrated into the chamber of commerce world. She started out as vice president of Membership Development for the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

     In 1996, Hoag was offered a job with the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce in Rochester, Minn. Her role there involved public affairs and being an advocate for the Rochester-area businesses.

     Hoag is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, a professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation at the University of Colorado.

     Hoag’s other work includes area director of the American Heart Association and campaign manager at United Way, both in Minnesota.

     Hoag has deep roots in the City of Monticello. It was her third-great grandfather, William Hoag, who started the Hoag Duster Factory in Monticello in 1872.

     The factory closed its doors in 1972.

     Hoag’s uncle by marriage, Tom Eden, was well known in Monticello as well. He operated the Motel Eden. Later, as a horse trainer and breeder, Eden brought horse racing/harness racing to the Great Jones County Fair. He served on the Fair Board for a time as well.

     “My family has deep ties to the community here,” she said.

     Hoag said she knew she would one day retire in her hometown, and accepting the chamber job was an opportunity to do so.

     “I’ve been looking to retire the past six months, and this is all a part of my retirement plan,” she said. “I wanted to return to the community that, over the years, I’ve watched grow and diversify.”

     Hoag has kept up with her Monticello news via the Express, and has seen the events and activities that have taken place here since she left in the mid-1990s.

     “I’ve watched the community develop its leadership and build from there,” she said. “It’s a win-win for me to come home and work with those talented people.”

     Hoag said there is a real sense of team spirit and team building in Monticello, from the different organizations coming together to support a common cause to creating events that attract people to town.

     “All of this brings people into Monticello,” she said.

     After coming back and forth from Minnesota to Monticello for several months, Hoag said the stars just aligned for her to serve her hometown in a way that she is quite familiar with.

     “A vision exists in this community that you don’t find in every community,” she praised. “The downtown is the heart beat of this community.”

     Hoag said she is humbled and honored to lead the community in her new chamber position.

     Tris Langdon, a member of the Monticello Chamber Board, said they just feel that Hoag will not only impact the chamber, but the community as well.

     “She is a ‘home town’ girl and her passion for this community, along with her extensive background in chamber and non-profit work, will be a great fit,” offered Langdon. “Jan is an outgoing, professional, and approachable individual that I think the businesses and community will embrace.”

     Hoag said she does not have any immediate goals, but wants to find the resources necessary to make great opportunities happen for Monticello.

     “My goal is to work with the community to put those resources together so we can continue to grow our events and membership,” she said. Hoag said you create a disconnect when the opportunities exist, but people don’t work to find the resources to make things happen.

     Hoag also wants to work with all those dedicated volunteers in Monticello as well.

     “People here are so willing to give of their time, talents and money,” she said of the community support. “People here truly have caring hearts.

     “I’m tickled pink to come back and work with this community.”


Subscriber Login