In honor of the Ohio Chamber’s 125th anniversary this year, we are following up with former employees in our Chamber Catch Up series. Look back on days at the Ohio Chamber and see where they are now. First up is former Assistant Vice President of Tax & Economic Policy, Dan Navin.
When/ for how long did you work at the Ohio Chamber?
For 25 years from January 1992 through December 2016.
What was your role at the Ohio Chamber?
My primary responsibility was to guide and direct the Chamber’s Tax Committee in formulating our organization’s tax and fiscal policy to advance the interests of our business members. To achieve that goal, my duties involved articulating our position on various pieces of legislation with members of the General Assembly and the incumbent administration, particularly the Ohio Department of Taxation, as well as informing both branches of state government of issues and concerns Ohio businesses had concerning the administration, implementation and financial impact of state and local tax policies.
What did you learn from working at the Ohio Chamber?
I wore a number of hats over the years as part of our legislative team and thus represented Chamber members at various times on education (both primary & secondary and higher ed), health care, unemployment compensation, small business and economic development issues. My take-away from those experiences is that they have given me a broader and better understanding of the difficulties and hardships a business owner must navigate in getting a business, particularly a small business, off the ground and operating both efficiently and profitably.
How did your time at the Ohio Chamber impact your professional career?
My time at the Ohio Chamber not only “impacted” my career, it “made” my career and, in fact, “was” my career. I had bounced around professionally for several years before starting with the Chamber, but from that point on, I knew I had found my niche. I found that I was well-suited, both temperamentally and skills-wise, to legislative advocacy and especially to tax policy work.
Did you have a favorite Ohio elected official that you worked with?
No doubt it is Senator Dick Finan, long-time chairman of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and former Senate President. When I first started at the Chamber, I somehow worked up the nerve to invite him to dinner to discuss what I told him were our legislative priorities. The truth was he knew much more about them than I did. But he was so gracious and attentively listened to me, even introducing me to other legislators and Voinovich administration officials we ran into that evening. I was rarely, if ever, on the opposite of an issue or bill that he felt passionately about, so I was not a target of his ire – fortunately.
What is your favorite memory from your time at the Ohio Chamber?
Our bi-weekly Chamber Staff meetings featuring extended remarks from Andy Doehrel – NOT (just kidding). Certainly, I remember all the wonderful people that worked at the Chamber and have moved on to other successful ventures. But I have to mention that one of the perks of being a staff member at the Chamber is that you participate in a number of brief respites from work – I mean parties – for various occasions such as birthdays, holidays (especially Christmas and Halloween) and/or after successful events such as Annual Meeting or the Salt Fork Legislative Conference. These things may seem little but they keep camaraderie good and spirits high.
What are you doing now?
I am retired and spending a lot of time in Florida with my two grandsons.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to current and future Ohio Chamber employees?
Always be thinking about ways you can positively improve and enhance the accomplishment of the Chamber’s mission of championing free enterprise, economic competitiveness and business growth in Ohio.