A 74-year-old volunteer at the Indio, Calif., Chamber of Commerce and veteran RV park developer has received an award for his efforts, which began 27 years ago.
Merritt Wiseman has spent 2,000 hours as a volunteer chamber ambassador, a program he helped launch almost three decades ago, according to The Desert Sun, Palm Springs.
Chamber officials recently gave him a plaque in honor of his work.
Born in Minneapolis, Minn., and raised in Huron, S.D., Wiseman started working for J.C. Penney in 1956. He managed stores in California, Arizona and New Mexico before coming to Indio to manage a store in 1974. At that time, the J.C. Penney was downtown.
Indio was a small town then. Wiseman quickly got involved, serving on the chamber board from 1975 to 1981, then focusing on being an ambassador.
He worked for J.C. Penney until 1984. He then became president and CEO of Briteway Inc., which built ownership RV parks, such as Indian Waters RV Resort, Desert Aire RV Resort and Happy Wanderer RV Park.
Even though Wiseman retired in 1997, he still remains very busy. He is a board member of the United Way of the Desert, the Valley Sanitary District and Volunteers in Medicine. Wiseman also is the past president of the Indio Sunrise Rotary Club.
"Indio is no longer a small town, but it still has the small-town flavor to it," he said.