The Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce has a new president – Sital Soni of ELM Strategies.

Soni began her new term in early January.

Former president, Tony Martina, is now the organization’s chairman.

A member of the chamber for nine years, Soni has served the business group for seven years in various capacities, including as a volunteer and as a member of the board.

In her new role, Soni will be overseeing exciting new changes for the chamber, starting with the organization’s upcoming move to a new location this spring.

The Transcript asked Soni more about her life, her work, and her vision for MACC.

Q Tell our readers more about you and your family.

A I was 2 years old arriving in the United States from India. I called Connecticut my home for 23 years with my loving parents and three amazing sisters. I earned my BA in Business and Human Resources Management from Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), attended Villanova University attaining a Professional Human Resources (PHR) certification designation. I met Ray, my wonderful, handsome Canadian husband in 1996 and we married in 1999. We have two amazing sons who attend middle school in Middletown, enjoy band, playing ice hockey and lacrosse, and are active in the Boy Scouts. We have the unique advantage of understanding and celebrating all that the Indian, Canadian, and American cultures have to offer that we enjoy together throughout the year. While I enjoy traveling, reading, listening to a variety of music, and cooking, my family activities is where my heart lies.

Q Tell our readers about your career. What do you do now and what you've done before?

A I currently own ELM Strategies where our focus is two-fold, offering HR services to both businesses of all sizes/industries and to individuals seeking career counseling. Through a unique approach to HR consulting, ELM Strategies focuses on the concept of Employee Lifecycle Management. By looking at business or personal development as a continuous process of change, clients benefit from a holistic and integrated solution to HR and career challenges.

In the past, I’ve had roles at the plant, divisional, and corporate level and have experience in many of the aspects of HR including strategic planning, recruiting, performance management, career development, employee relations, organizational development, mergers and integration activities, succession planning and developing high-potential employees.

I began my career as an HR Assistant at ATMI, a high-tech semiconductor business in CT working with Masters and Ph.D. level employees, transitioning to a 24/7 manufacturing facility as an HR Manager overseeing three offices in Arizona.

Q As the chamber's newest president, please tell the readers about your new role and what you hope to achieve.

A What an amazing volunteer opportunity to continue in the footsteps of the past, visionary leaders of the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce and now create my own unique mark. Over the course of my 9-year tenure as a chamber member, the past 7 years with the board, I’ve seen and experienced amazing progress for the benefit of our members and the MACC organization via programs, networking opportunities, recognition of both the Chamber and many of our members as award-winners in Delaware and across the nation.

I’ve had the privilege of leading the hiring efforts of our executive director, Roxane Ferguson. Her extraordinary efforts have brought the MACC to a whole new level. I was also fortunate, with a team of volunteers dedicated to achieving great success, to help create our very successful Annual Spring Expo, with the 7th Annual Spring Expo coming to the Townsend Fire Hall on March 5th, and yes it is open and free to the public – that’s a shameless plug, by the way!

To continue on our progressive ways, I’m proud and excited to reach an MACC milestone as I serve as the first female, immigrant president in 2015.

Our chamber’s internal goals include creating formal administrative, membership and events policies and practices, continuing to meet member needs through value-added networking business and community events, and to open our newest endeavor, the Middletown Business Incubator and Collaborative Workspace.

Our growth in 2014 brought us to over 400 members, another amazing milestone for our chamber! For our members, it’s time to capture the energy in our growth and prosper together to becoming a greater MACC via three activities: Participation, Volunteerism, and Promotion. We are challenging everyone in our organization to continue to participate actively in our events – including taking advantage of our wonderful sponsorship opportunities; to volunteer on a committee, and to give an hour or two of their time toward a Chamber activity. If we can achieve the current stage of growth, just imagine how much further we can be with all hands on deck! Finally, when we know are part of something great, growing our business and finding value to our membership, its simple to share that message with others.

For non-Members, what are you waiting for? Come find out all the benefits of joining MACC, how to successfully grow and advertise your business, and be part of this wonderful community…. shameless plug #2!!

Q Tell the readers about the exciting things in your life and work that you're looking forward to this year.

A 2015 will be a year filled with professional and volunteer growth and fun-filled family time! I look forward to continuing positive relationships providing quality services to my clients and becoming more involved with the local chapter of SHRM – a professional human resources organization providing opportunities keeping abreast of what’s new in HR.

As an advocate for supporting our community, my volunteer efforts will include my presidency role with MACC, continuing to support the Appoquinimink School District, the Boys Scouts of America, and the Relay for Life.

I’m looking forward to working with MACC’s remarkable staff of two – Roxane and Peg, the 2015 Board of Directors, the MACC Ambassadors, and numerous other volunteers working toward continuing our success.

Trying some new, delicious Indian, Italian, and BBQ recipes are in my 2015 plan. Lastly, can’t wait for an adult-only trip to Quebec City with friends, our family trip to Florida, enjoying a family visit to Nova Scotia, and attending our nephew’s wedding this year!