New chamber head knows Lake County business
Ray Mullen, executive director of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce.
Updated: February 25, 2013 9:00AM
LIBERTYVILLE — Ray Mullen is no stranger to the Lake County business community.
The Mundelein resident has lived in the community for 30 years, has experience in the corporate world, and owned a local small business, too.
These are among the reasons he was named this month as the new executive director of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce, which serves businesses in Green Oaks, Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills.
After Mullen and his family moved to Mundelein in 1983, they soon brought their family-owned Debbie’s Floral Shop with them. His primary career, however, focused on corporate sales for printing manufacturing companies.
Q. What attracted you to the chamber?
A. As someone who primarily worked in the capital equipment business while also owning a small retail business, I didn’t get to be as active in the community as I would have wanted. I was in the Rotary and Mundelein Community Connections, but this is encompasses my skills the best.
Q. From a business perspective, do you perceive the Green Oaks, Libertyville, Mundelein, Vernon Hills area as a growing, declining or steady area?
A. I think it’s growing. Considering the economic downturn we saw in 2008, I strongly believe there is growth again. This area has always had strong communities that support businesses and residents equally. That provides a great foundation.
Q. Did the Board of Directors identify any specific goals it wanted you to focus on?
A. They’ve asked me to increase membership and involvement through activities. The chamber is alive and well, but always looking to grow.
Q. What are your personal goals for the chamber during your first six months or year?
A. It’s my plan to be out in the community and be a presence known by chamber members, local officials, as well as businesses that might consider joining. Visibility creates opportunity.
Q. Do you have any new programs or events you’d like to initiate?
A. None so far, but I’m certain that ideas will arise after I meet more members and gage their feedback.
Q. Do you have an opinion on how the Internet affects businesses in GLMV?
A. The Internet is one of, if not the most significant impacts on the business world in at least 15 years. It changes the way people communicate and manage information. It’s not our place to decide what’s responsible or what’s a best practice, but we do hope that even those companies that work solely online will still be active in their community. A vibrant and healthy community depends on a healthy business sector. Likewise, a healthy business sector depends on a healthy community surrounding it. It’s the chamber’s job to be a bridge between the two.