Volkman starts term as president of Chamber
July 19, 2006
Like many star struck college graduates in Los Angeles, the Hollywood dreams didn’t work out for him.
"Through college I did repertory theater in Salt Lake City and I actually moved to L.A. for a summer," Andrew Volkman said. "But after three months of living on coffee and McDonalds, I realized everyone I had met wanted to be an actor. I learned that you not only have to be good, but you also have to be very lucky."
Since his acting career didn’t pan out, Volkman tried something else he became a banker. Although he never planned on his eventual profession, he did it initially to just get experience, but 25 years later he was more than just a teller, he had become Frontier Bank’s president.
"I started out as a management trainee and since then I’ve done everything from being a teller to a loan officer, to new accounts and branch managements," he said. "Then this job came up."
Not only is Volkman the president of Park City’s third largest bank, but he is also beginning his one-year term as the president of the Park City Chamber/Bureau. The members of the Chamber/Bureau elected him last year, but the new president elect serves for one year as the treasurer before taking over.
"You certainly overlook the finances, but you also watch the existing president and how they work," he said. "You start getting pulled into meetings and making decisions so you can see how things are going to run. It’s been this way since before I can remember."
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Volkman, a Utah native, went to Westminster College to study management before going to graduate school at the University of Delaware, earning a masters degree in banking. He graduated, came back to Utah and then moved to Park City.
"I really got into Park City because the bank I worked for at the time had to foreclose on millions and millions of dollars of real estate here," he said. "We had a giant portfolio of real estate up here and I was the manager of the real estate division. I spent about two years managing those properties; I learned to love it up here and when something opened up here in 1990 we moved and have been here ever since."
He has been involved in various organizations since moving to Park City, including being one of seven Park City planning commissioners for nearly a decade. The planning commission was an opportunity Volkman said will help him in his position as Chamber/Bureau president.
"The two aren’t really related, but being on the planning commission was something that’s very technical, and it prepared me for various things generally speaking. I’m sure it will help with things like conflict resolution and dealing with the public, or trying to interpret legal codes and apply them to different situations."
But it’s his full-time occupation, not serving on the planning commission that he said will help him the most in dealing with the various problems the Chamber/Bureau president faces.
"I think in banking you’re faced with 50 different topics every day from $1 million loan requests and banking issues to looking at the character of people and dealing with public relations and advertising. I think that it has helped me in almost anything I do. It gives a very broad knowledge of just about everything that comes in front of you. You’re good at everything and an expert in nothing."
As president, Volkman will be in charge of facilitating the executive board meetings and the general board meetings, as well as providing advice and council to staff and especially to Executive Director Bill Malone.
"I’m more of a shepherd," he said. "Fortunately they have a tremendous amount of knowledge on staff. I get brought in on decisions and things, but it’s really Bill Malone who runs it. But it’s a remarkable staff. When I first joined the chamber board I really didn’t know as much about it as I should have. It has a full-time staff of maybe 25 people and they’re very skilled at what they do. They make my job much easier."
All board members, except full-time staff, are unpaid volunteers. That includes the president.
"It’s not a tremendous amount of time, maybe a couple of hours per week," he said. "Our stated objective is to promote tourism and overnight visitation, and we do that through a lot of hard work, but, like I said, there are a lot of skilled people here."
Volkman will serve for president for one year before becoming an executive board member for another year as the past president.