You, me and business: What’s in a name?

Dana Schroeder

By DANA SCHROEDER

CEO, SCC Chamber

Some columns just write themselves.  They’re timely and easy and they just flow.  This is not one of those columns.

Sometimes life does not go in the direction you intend it to go. And despite all your efforts, you realize you have to take yourself into a new direction. This is one of those times.

You’ve been hearing and reading the name Dana Dittmar for numerous years now.  But today it changes.  I’m back to being Dana Schroeder, the name I was given at birth and the name I hated growing up with.  Being compared to the kid who played piano in the Peanuts comic strip got old very soon.  Being called Schroeder-Rooter (after the drain cleaner) was equally nerve-wrecking.

But somehow now I am getting a comfort from it.  It’s familiar.  And it’s me.

So, what’s in a name?  Nothing and everything.  Nothing about me has changed in the past month.  I’m still at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce, still writing this column, still on the radio, still volunteering with the Security Patrol, and still involved in the community any way I can.

And yet I have to do this to reestablish who I am to me.  I am my own person on my own terms.  There was no harm and no foul here.  No placing of blame. Just — it is what it is.

But let me tell you, changing your name is a pain in the glutes. It means new business cards, a new name tag and a new nameplate.  It means rerecording all of the promos for my radio show and a trip to the DMV for a new driver’s license.  Not to mention a round with social security.  All of this will take time and it will be an uncomfortable transition.

But this, too, shall pass.

Now, I’m focused on business at the chamber.  The chamber is building three rental offices out of unused space in the Banquet Room (now the Events Room.  See?  Everything is getting a new name). Lots of construction noise and activity.  And the chamber is having its first fishing tournament in October that involves an enormous amount of planning.

I’m also focused on my role with the American Legion Auxiliary and the Elks and all the activities going on with both of those organizations.

But most importantly, I am focused on enjoying all the friends and activities I’ve neglected over the years for one reason or another.  I now have time for the beach and boating, movies with friends and outdoor concerts.  I’m checking out restaurants that you can’t get to on a golf cart and saying “yes” to dinner invitations I used to turn down.

It’s a strange transition and one that will probably not be easy. People will forget or want a longer explanation than I want to give. That’s okay. In a way, it’s just a name. But now I have my name, and right now, that’s very important to me. That, and the fact that I lost my name tag and need more business cards anyway.  Sometimes timing is everything.

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