Jack Russell, CP, President & CEO of OneZone Chamber of Commerce, has been named Indiana Chamber Executive of the Year by the Indiana Chamber Executives Association (ICEA).  The award is the top honor for an individual chamber leader in the State of Indiana. Russell accepted the award at the ICEA Annual Conference held last week in Elkhart, Indiana.

ICEA recognized Russell’s creativity, eagerness to mentor peers, and his success for substantial growth for the organization he leads. 

“This award is a tribute to Jack’s passion for the community he serves and the profession that he loves,”  said Shelli Williams, President of the Indiana Chamber Executives Association. “Jack always shares  so much energy and out-of-the-box thinking that he naturally draws his peers to lean toward him for professional advice.” 

ICEA received several letters of nomination for this year’s recipient, including multiple nomination letters from peers leading other chambers in the state.  “Jack is a man with significant impact who leads with integrity, appropriately challenges the process, is a true collaborator, and is results-focused,” Steve Latour, CEO of the Westfield Chamber, shared in a nomination letter. “I have seen Jack interact with colleagues, board members, citizens, and elected leaders engage in challenging conversations, coach, mentor, and lead.”

Christian Maslowki, President & CEO of OneZone shared that, “OneZone was a new organization, formed from the merger of two large chambers, and Jack helped the organization through the most difficult merger work:establishing a new cultural norm, new performance standards, and dispelling sacred cows that no longer added value to the chamber or its membership. These hard lifts
required confidence, courage, and the ability to bring people along, or move them off the bus. Jack’s drive for excellence and innovation was contagious and helped the organization win ICEA Chamber of the Year.” 

Russell has served as the President at OneZone Chamber of Commerce, a 1,300-member organization for the past two years. Prior to serving as President, Jack was the Chief Operating Officer at OneZone for two years. In 2021 Jack was award the ACCE 40 under 40 honors and received his Certified Professional Certification through the Indiana Chamber Executive Association. During his time at
OneZone the organization has created the first Supplier Diversity Program in Hamilton County, OWN or OneZone Women’s Network, the Small Business Hub, a Health & Wellness Committee focused on Mental Health, a PAC called the OneZone Business Action Committee, and has created strong advocacy efforts at the local, county, and state level. Prior to his time at OneZone Chamber Jack served as President & CEO at the Westfield Chamber of Commerce where he grew the organization to over 400 members in those two years.

In addition to this top honor, the OneZone Chamber team brought home two Innovative Excellence Awards for their work with their Supplier Diversity Program and Small Business Roundtables as well as placing in the top three for this year’s Chamber of the Year recognition.

ICEA, the state’s leading organization for professional development of chamber staff leaders, began naming a Chamber Executive of the Year in 2002 to recognize the work Chamber CEOs do in their communities. The organization works with nearly 100 chambers of commerce throughout the state representing well over 45,000 businesses.

To be eligible for the award, a recipient must have worked in an executive role at a Chamber for at least three years. The selection committee also considers continued Chamber education/professional development, personal character, management excellence, leadership and community relationships.  Finalists are reviewed by a panel of professional peers leading chambers outside of Indiana.  Details about the annual award recognition for local chambers can be found on the ICEA website.. <link to https://www.iceaonline.com/annual-awards.html>