“We joined SCCA to learn from and work with other successful businesses in the Seward neighborhood.”
SCCA Member: Jim Welna, Welna II Hardware

Jim Welna Steps Down as SCCA Chair

After 14 years, long-time SCCA Board Chair, Jim Welna has stepped down. He will still remain on the SCCA board as Joe Buck takes over the office of chair. Few people have made as significant an impact on the Seward community over the years as Jim has. I recently met with him to discuss his time as board chair.

Approached in 1998 by Leo Hoff and Lenny Harrel, two former SCCA board members, Jim joined the SCCA and quickly moved into his role of board chair. Over the next decade and a half, Jim and the SCCA accomplished many things, including an increase in membership, an expansion of the SCCA Board, and a state of financial stability. Always one to deflect credit, Jim praised the “great board members” for working together in order to update and fine-tune the mission statement and goals of the SCCA. This helped clarify the organizational tax status, which aided in tight financial controls being put in place. This strategy ultimately led the City of Minneapolis to use the SCCA as a formal model on how a business association should operate.

In the upcoming years, Jim will continue to work with the Seward business community. He plans on working closely with both the SCCA and Seward Neighborhood Group to improve crime prevention and safety issues throughout the area. He wants to see an increase in new businesses joining the SCCA, as well as an increase in the number of board members. He believes this increase will help the SCCA adjust much easier after city-funded support for business associations ends in 2013.

Looking back at his time as board chair, Jim wanted to make sure the SCCA was relevant to business members, and that they had a unified voice when communicating with the City of Minneapolis. He hopes that the networking opportunities and the information learned at the monthly meetings have allowed Seward businesses to tackle relevant issues. He has enjoyed getting to know all the different businesses that operate in Seward, learning from the many speakers at the monthly meetings, and working with his fellow board members, who have dedicated many hours of service to the SCCA.