A man with a vision, a warm handshake and deep-rooted values, Chuck Staley's footprint continues to be seen in the progress and growth of Madison County and Central Indiana.
By Kyle Morey, Madison County Chamber
Flagship CEO Chuck Staley by Dale Pickett Photography
When I first took the position of President and CEO of the Madison County Chamber, Chuck Staley took me under his wing mentoring me every step of the way as I stumbled through a name change, program enhancements, new idea proposals, merger opportunities, and economic gardening activities. If you ask the hundred-something other entrepreneurs who have walked the halls of the Flagship you would hear similar praise. He is a mentor. He is a defender of free enterprise. He is a friend. It was his vision and his building that attracted me to accepting the position here in the first place. I am absolutely thrilled that the Character Counts committee selected Chuck as the 2012 award winner.
Interview with Chuck Staley
Kyle: What is your actual title and how long have you had that title?
Chuck: It has been an honor to serve as President and CEO of Flagship Enterprise Center since 2003.
Kyle: Why this industry?
Chuck: While this particular path has not been a complete surprise to me, I saw a need and moved to fill it.
Kyle: What is the funniest/strangest job you've ever had?
Chuck: When I was 5, I had the grand idea to sell my mom’s green onions, going door to door, from my red wagon. Unfortunately, I thought the green leaves were the saleable part and left the bulbs in the ground. Mom was mad, I made no sales, and I lost a perfectly good Saturday. It was clear to me; I was not yet ready to be an entrepreneur.
Kyle: What advice would you give to young people entering the workforce?
Chuck: Follow your passion; understand your talents and then actively pursue opportunities. Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Kyle: How do you define success?
Chuck: Identify your God given gifts and abilities, and use them to help others. Sometimes the outcomes may not be measurable for years, but continue the course and you will be amazed at the results.
Chuck Staley, Mike latchaw and Kyle Morey address Madison County issues with Washington Legislators
Kyle: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Chuck: Winston Churchill – “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. “
Kyle: What book has inspired you the most?
Chuck: “Leadership” - John Maxwell
Kyle: Tell me about your most scary moment in your career.
Chuck: I’m not sure “scariest” is the word I would apply to two of the more significant events in my life. Being stranded for a week on a hill in Vietnam with four other Marines, not sure what our fate would be might be phrased as, “distressing” and “upsetting” but for some reason I never thought of it as “scary.” Perhaps being young had something to do with it.
Another sentinel event was the loss of my son, David, on Labor Day, 2001. Those who have had someone so dear to them taken so suddenly will understand the sense of instant loss, lack of closure and mourning of an unrealized future. Yet, even on that worst day of my life, I am convinced that Lynn, Catherine and I were never alone or forsaken for a single moment.
Kyle: What has been your most satisfying moment in your career?
Chuck: Having a small part in rethinking, re-visioning, and rebuilding Anderson and Madison County.
Kyle: What is one interesting fact about you that most people don't know?
Chuck: I was a US Marine Sharpshooter.
Kyle: Why do you choose to live/work in Madison County?
Chuck: I was born here. I have seen Madison County in prosperity and in decline. I believe we are at the edge of again being a destination for commerce, quality of life, and opportunity. I believe the people of Madison County are the greatest resource. They are unpretentious, down to earth, hospitable, hardworking, and at the core of what it means to be a Hoosier. The reason I choose to stay in Madison County is Anderson University. The university affects the community in educational excellence, spiritual commitment, cultural distinction, innovative achievement, and the entrepreneurial spirit. Anderson University has an incredibly profound and positive impact on all of us.
Kyle: What makes you happy?
Chuck: I am most happy when I am with my family (my son Seth and daughter Catherine) and my wife. I prefer a quiet dinner with my wife above all.
Kyle: What do you donate your time to?
Chuck: I am blessed to serve on boards and commissions of many worthwhile and vital organizations in our community. At times I’m concerned that I can’t give the proper time and attention to all the wonderful causes my family and I believe in. One of my biggest challenges is learning when to realize that the plate is too full.
Kyle: What single word best describes you?
Kyle: Mac or PC?
Chuck: PC…I’m not smart enough for a MAC. But I could see myself in one of those commercials!
About the Award
A highly prestigious designation, this award is presented annually to a Madison County businessperson with an established history of leadership, service and a work ethic that goes above and beyond expectations. Co-presented by the Chamber and Character Counts! of Madison County, it officially recognizes the recipient’s commitment to Six Pillars of Character—Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. In honor of his outstanding contribution to Madison County’s business community, in 2011 the Character in Business award was renamed the Keith J. Pitcher Character in Business.
Chuck Staley, along with several other distinguished individuals, companies and non-profits, will be honored at the Madison County Chamber's Annual Awards Gala held on February 28, 2013 from 6 to 9 pm at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Anderson. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling Tina at 765-642-0264.