New executive director had inside connection to lead business organization
Lisa Crivello admits she had an inside track when it came to becoming the new executive director of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce.
Crivello has been a member of the Chamber for seven years, most recently serving as the organization’s treasurer.
In fact, she handled much of the to-do list when Pam “Dooley” Vogel resigned abruptly in January.
Crivello said pursuing the Chamber position was partially her idea and partially a response to the board members who saw her as a good fit for the position.
Crivello has 30 years of experience in the banking industry, most recently as a mortgage lender at M&I Bank.
Now out of the banking business, she said the Chamber position intrigued her.
“I had been doing a lot of the work already and thought the Chamber job would be something different. I am always looking for a challenge,” Crivello said.
She said the position may have been especially challenging in recent years, as reflected in the number of vacant storefronts that once lined Port Washington’s business corridor.
“I believe the economy is starting to turn around and that tide is changing in Port Washington, too. It is exciting to be part of that,” Crivello said.
More than wishful thinking, she pointed to a number of businesses settling in on Franklin Street, most notably the long-awaited arrival of an anchor commercial tenant for the
landmark Smith Bros. Marketplace building.
“The people from Duluth Trading Co. have already been in contact with us, and we are hopeful that they will be active members of our Chamber,” Crivello said.
Her first mission is to solidify the relationship between the Chamber and Main Street, the city’s downtown development organization.
“I was a member of Main Street for a number of years, and I am confident I will be able to work well with (Main Street Executive Director) Sara Grover. I think it is critical that we
be able to work closely together for the good of the Port Washington,” Crivello said.
“What is most unique about Port is that it has lost its traditional large manufacturers and has had the opportunity to reinvent itself. I think Port has been doing a great job of that,
and I am excited about now being a part of meeting that challenge.”
Because of her history of involvement in the community, Crivello said she hasn’t had to waste a lot of energy introducing herself.
“Thanks to all my years in banking, I have had a lot of people contacting me, congratulating me on my new job,” she said. “Once I get my business cards printed, I plan on hitting
the street, meeting as many business owners as I can.”
Crivello and her husband Michael have lived in Port Washington since 1988.
She has also been a member of the Saukville Chamber of Commerce and the Ozaukee County Realtors Association.
Chamber President Matt Nelson said Crivello proved to be an ideal fit for the executive director position.
“Choosing to promote internally and move Lisa into the executive director role was an easy decision,” Nelson said.
“Lisa’s past, present and future passion for this community will prove to bring positive change to our local businesses, industries, organizations and professionals. Her leadership
will help to improve the economic, civic and cultural climate in our community. I’m very proud of what the Port Chamber and Lisa brings to the table.”
Image Information: LISA CRIVELLO HAS deep connections with the business community, which should serve her well as the new executive director of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Mark Jaeger