43-year resident of Portage and Executive Director of the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce Terry Hufford has announced his retirement from the chamber after years of dedicated service.
“It has been my pleasure to work for a person with such loyalty to the Chamber of Commerce,” says Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Nancy Simpson. “He’s a positive role model to the chamber in many ways.
“Honestly we all knew this was going to happen sooner than later, “says chamber member and Horizon Bank Assistant Vice President Mike Sarver. “He’s been mentioning it for some time now, and he’s ready to spend some time finally relaxing after all of the hard work he’s done.
“I started working at the age of 17,” says Hufford. “I’ve worked at Bethlehem Steel as both a worker and an engineer. My whole life has been filled with work and dedication to the city of Portage.”
Along with his service on the chamber, Hufford has served as President of the Portage Township School Board, Chairman of Portage’s Relay for Life, a member of the United Way of Portage and Chairman of the Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church.
“There’s two things I remember about Terry,” says Sarver. “I remember his loyalty and I remember his dedication to the schools. He was always helping out and always spending his time with school related things.”
Hufford is married to his wife Sandy and has four children: Scott, Jennifer, Jackie and Jessica who all together, also have eight grandchildren.
Both Simpson and Sarver have pleasant memories of their time working together with Hufford, with his dedication to his job serving as an inspiration to all.
“From running cookouts for 8 hours on a Saturday afternoon to help cover Chamber expenses, to shoveling, salting and keeping the building in tack during torrential rain, snow and wind storms, Terry was dedicated to making sure the job gets done,” says Simpson.
Hufford’s lightheartedness and humor are also two characteristics that are fondly remembered from those who worked with him.
“When things didn’t always go as planned, Terry always had a joke or lightened story to make the situation a little easier to deal with,” says Simpson
“Terry always found the silver lining in things, “says Sarver. “Good or bad, he had a way to always see the good in things over the bad.’
Most of all, chamber members will miss his dedication to the city of Portage and its residents and how his love for the city ultimately made it a better place.
“His professionalism, integrity and love for Portage have helped showcase the Chamber in a positive light these past 12 years,” says Simpson. “We are thankful for all that he has done and we wish him the best of luck with his retirement.”
“If I could say one last thing to him, it’s to never change who you are,” says Sarver. “Your sense of humor, your loyalty, I hope you keep those with you as you can enjoy yourself after all these years. I know he won’t though, he’s too positive for that.”
“I am lucky, I’m just lucky,” says Hufford. “I’ve been blessed with good health and good people. I know that it’s time to retire. I've been to countless meetings, more than I can count. That means it's time to retire. I'm ready to spend some time away.”