RIPON – Marge Imfeld has held nearly every position on the Ripon Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors in her 20-year involvement with the organization.
And as of Thursday night, Imfeld – the founder of Ripon’s Re/Max Real Estate affiliate – will have officially rounded out her resume after being installed as the president of the organization for the next year.
It’ll be a great way for Imfeld, who plans on retiring from her real estate career in December, to go out as an integral member of Ripon’s business community that has long believed in the benefits that the chamber brings to its members.
“I think that it’s a great outlet and opportunity for businesses to get out into the community and get represented,” Imfeld said. “When new residents move into town the chamber distributes a welcome bucket that lists each of the businesses in the community, and that really helps people get accustomed to the great businesses that we have here.”
Even though promoting local businesses is the backbone of the chamber’s mission, the two annual community events that they sponsor and organize each year – the annual Almond Blossom Festival and Main Street Days – serve a dual purpose as a community gathering event and as chance to draw people downtown.
They’re both events that Imfeld says she’s proud to have been involved with. She believes they are some of the things that help make Ripon stand apart as a community.
“They build a sense of community pride,” she said. “I think there’s the social aspect of folks getting together and getting to know their neighbors, and then when you incorporate businesses it helps bring everything together.”
Imfeld has not owned Re/Max Executive Realty for nearly five years. She stayed on in a management position to help run the day-to-day operations of the business while at the same time gearing up towards her retirement.
With five children, she found that real estate gave her the opportunity to both work and be able to spend time with her kids. It is a benefit that has since crossed over to her grandchildren. She and her husband just took their five oldest grandchildren to Washington, D.C. They already have plans to the other four in seven years when they’re old enough.
But it’s through her years of working with clients, she says, that has helped her appreciate spending time with people. She especially enjoys getting to see the smiles on their faces when they’ve been helped.
It’s a mindset that Imfeld plans on carrying into her term as the chamber president as she works to bring the businesses of Ripon together and connect them with the residents in order to make sure local money is spent inside of the community.
“As a business owner the most important thing is being plugged in to the community that you’re involved with,” she said. “People like to do business with those that they know and trust. In the end, that’s what it all boils down to.”