(MITCHELL) – The 2019 Greater Mitchell Chamber of Commerce Annual meeting was held in the Lakeview Room at the Spring Mill Inn, Thursday, evening, featuring guest speaker Daniel Minchew, former U.S. Senate, and White House Staffer, educator, Trade Commission Chair, investment banker, and licensed Washington D.C. and New York tour guide.
Dr. Steve Grissom details the first time he met Mr. Minchew
Daniel Minchew provided insights on going from a Georgia Farm, working for a Georgia Senator, working in Paris, to working in the White House during the Kennedy, Johnson, Ford and Carter administrations, and then at the Trade Commission.
Dr. Steve Grissom introduced Mr. Minchew detailing how he came in contact with him some 11 years ago, taking a trip of high school students to Washington D.C. on tour. Dr. Grissom told of how Mr. Minchew called two days before they ever left on the trip making sure everything was in order.
On the day of the trip the students, being up since 2 a.m., arrived in front of the Old Post Office in Washington D.C. Dr. Grissom receives a phone call from Mr. Minchew stating, “due to road construction I will be 15-20 minutes late. However, I will be there”.
Dr. Grissom recalls how he went directly to the bus, as soon as he got there marched right up there with 40 Students aboard.
During the lunch at Mt. Vernon, Mr. Minchew asked the students what they wanted to do and see. And getting a recommendation from Mr. Minchew and knowing that Archives had 4.5-hour wait. He gave the group suggestions that cut down their wait times and advice of places to see, going through the itinerary, that provided the students an enjoyable trip.
“The students just loved Mr. Minchew” Dr. Grissom emphasized.
Daniel is a licensed tour guide in both New York and Washington D.C., worked for Secretary of State McNamara in Paris, France, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson Administration, appointed to the Trade Commission in the Ford Administration, and appointed Trade Commissioner in the Carter Administration.
Minchew Offers Advice on How to Succeed in the Workplace
Before, sharing his life experience, he thanked the Mitchell Community for their Hoosier Hospitality and visiting many of the Mitchell points of interests from Lehigh, Opera House, and then looking over the work of the WPA, and CCC of the Spring Mill State Park.
Speaking of the Mitchell Opera House, being a Tour Guide he noted some of the differences between the Mitchell Opera House, and the Ford Theater in Washington D.C. The Ford Theater was not as open in the back as the Opera House, forcing some out in the back alley.
Daniel Minchew explained he grew up in a small Southern Georgia town that had the same problems and issues as any other small town in America. Out of college, he started work for a Georgia Senator, being a Magic Room Boy as he put it.
He offered this advice to students that were in the room.
- Be on Time
- Work to finish the job
- Stay Late to make sure the job gets done
- Be positive
- Do more work than others expect
“My boss of the Armed Services Committee, in the Senate, and Bob McNamara sent six of us boys to Paris, France. I was happy, making more money than I could ever dream of a whole $3,000 a year. Even happier living in Paris,” Minchew exclaimed.
Crowd mingles at Greater Mitchell Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner
Then, he got a phone call, from the embassy, and everyone worried that he did something wrong. But, an Old Italian Word is not a bad word, Per Diem, when over there in Paris never claimed a $15 per diem now he had housing, and he could enjoy Paris even more.
One day he received a letter from Kenny Odon; with an offer to come and work at the White House. And in response to that offer, he wrote an arrogant and condescending letter stating that he was happily working for the Secretary of Defense. Not even a week later, however, he received a letter from his old boss Mr. Russell stating that he was getting a job offer from the White House and he better take the job.
Suddarth & Company Real Estate employees enjoying the evening
After, writing a rejection letter of the job, he wrote another letter humbly asking for reconsideration for the position. He was hired on as a White House Staffer who was responsible for preparing briefs for the White House Staff meetings. If the President needed something, I found what he needed and gave him the paper.
Working at the Trade Commission offered insight into how policy affects small towns.
Other promotions came to Mr. Minchew, working as a Chief of Staff for a Senator and finally being appointed to the Trade Commission, who now has his own staff. Working for the Trade Commission, Minchew learned how decisions that are made in Washington have an impact on small towns like Mitchell, Indiana. Minchew no longer required those impacted, to come to Washington D.C. to provide reports, but we went to them.
Towns and cities like Brownsville, Texas, and Kodiak, Alaska we visited them and found out how our trade policies affected them.
Alisha Taylor,employee at German American Bank, wins door prize
Automation Changed the Business World
Even the small little farm Minchew grew up on changed the way it operates, with new advanced equipment and Automation, and reduced the need of employees.
“It’s great to go after large business. However, the 1 to 125 employee business is just as important. For, college students, I encourage you to come back to your community. And grow a business, work within your community. Community leaders must have jobs for those graduates. Even the tools for the job when I worked as a White House Briefer, instead of having to go photocopy, research the information someplace, they now have a gadget called an I-Pad that have made their jobs easier. Asking a briefer one time do you have a template for one of those Oh my God, moments, to which the briefer replied, oh yes.” Mr. Minchew laughed.