SUN CITY CENTER — The Greater Sun City Center Chamber and its former executive director Dana Schroeder are embarking on new chapters.
The chamber board announced last month it’s looking for another director. Schroeder, formerly Dana Dittmar, had served as the organization’s executive director since October of 2010. She says she will now focus on continuing to serve the retirement community.
"I still plan to be as involved as I’ve ever been in Sun City Center," Schroeder said. "I’m keeping my radio show and going back to writing my column for the Observer News. So I intend to be every bit as involved in this community as I have always been."
Schroeder said she will remain a volunteer with the Security Patrol and continue her involvement with several service organizations including the American Legion Auxiliary, the Community Emergency Response Team and the Elks. She also plans to continue aiding an effort to develop a Sun City Center Veterans Memorial Park.
As for the chamber, it’s actively seeking a new executive director. Fran Fabbro, the 2017 chairwoman of the chamber board and the Sun City Center branch manager for Encore Bank, declined to specifically comment to the Tampa Bay Times for this story and referenced a release the chamber board sent out last month.
In the release, the board simply stated the chamber, "is evolving and looking towards the future needs of the community and its businesses." It went on to state the board wants a new executive director who is familiar with the community and possesses strong sales, marketing, leadership and technology skills as well as a passion for people and helping businesses prosper.
The release also acknowledged Schroeder’s tenure.
"The board thanks Dana Schroeder for her prior service and wishes her well in all future endeavors."
Schroeder’s prior service includes her advocacy work in the retirement community. With no municipal government in Sun City Center, the chamber often filled the role of representing community concerns.
In 2016, Schroeder helped champion improvements to State Road 674, organizing residents to attend a county commission meeting with matching T-shirts that read "SR674 is a priority now. We Vote." The movement helped spur the commission to allot funds for improvements to several interchanges on the road.
Such efforts earned Schroeder a number of accolades, including Citizen of the Year recognition from the Kiwanis Club and the Distinguished Citizenship Award from the Grand Elks Lodge, both in 2016.
Under Schroeder’s guidance, the chamber’s offices also went through a number of improvements, including a recent remodeling of its event room. Schroeder said she always tried to balance supporting the local businesses through chamber activities while never forgetting the unique needs of her hometown folks.
"This is a unique community, so the chamber has to be unique," Dittmar said.
Although she’s no longer with the chamber, she said she remains interested in doing more work for the community.
"This is my home and my community," Schroeder said. "Just because I’m not in that role anymore doesn’t mean I’m not going to still be making things happen in Sun City Center."
Times staff writer Ernest Hooper contributed to this story. Contact Kathy Straub at [email protected]