I am a full-time Lake Viking resident at lots 364 and 365. We have been lot owners since 2014. My current career setting is as a director of State Government Affairs for Johnson & Johnson.

Board and committee service: I am chair of the Lake Viking Communications Team, member of the Lake Viking Incorporation Study Committee and member of the Strategic Planning Committee. I have spent many volunteer hours entering e-mail addresses to implement the e-mail communications infrastructure for Lake Viking Association members.

I grew up on a farm in Savannah, Mo. and am a hard worker with many life and work experiences to prepare me to be an active and engaged board member. I am married and have two adult children. I have served my church in many capacities and currently play the piano for Sunday services at the First Christian Church of Gallatin. My husband and I are full-time residents of Lake Viking.

My husband and I wanted to find a lake community where we could retire in a few years. I have lived in a rural area most of my life and Lake Viking is a beautiful lake community that combines a lake and rural setting.

I have served as chair of the Lake Viking Communications Team, which implemented the new e-mail and text communication systems to Lake Viking Association members. I currently serve on the Missouri Biotechnology Association Board of Directors and previously served on the Kansas City Women’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. I was also vice president for State Government Affairs for Hoechst Marion Roussell (a Marion Laboratories legacy company) where I headed up a department of over 20 people with a budget close to $10 million. In my current position with J & J, I serve as chair of the PhRMA Nebraska Task Force, vice chair of the PhRMA Kansas Task Force, member of the Missouri Civil Justice Reform Coalition, Missouri Chamber of Commerce Health Policy Committee, Kansas Bio Government Affairs Committee and the Iowa Bio Government Affairs Committee. I have over 30 years of business experience. I am a strategic thinker who can also implement ideas. I received my BS from the University of Missouri-Columbia and my MBA from Rockhurst University. I have also been involved in 4-H as a member and leader for over 25 years so am very familiar with parliamentary procedures and managing meetings. Honesty and integrity are critical values that I embrace.

I believe the greatest challenge facing our association is how to utilize limited resources in a more efficient manner. Data-driven decisions need to be made by the board. Resources should be spent as though they are our own personal money and efficiencies should be implemented before asking members for dues increases. It is also critical that the association be transparent with decisions.

I believe the board should focus on 1) the long-term financial viability of Lake Viking and 2) the long-term water quality and recreational use of Lake Viking. Developing a plan to prevent silt build up and dredging plays a big part in both of these two issues.

My vision for Lake Viking includes a financially viable association that provides a beautiful and fun recreational area. I believe that every lot owner has a significant investment that should be protected. This small lake has grown into a lake with a $1.2 million budget that needs safeguards in place, both financially and operationally, to keep it viable for the next 50 years. This includes a willingness to embrace change and welcome new ideas. With the new e-mail and text communications, we are moving in the right direction to communicate with and engage our association members. We can only become a stronger association when we engage and communicate with our membership and provide transparency in the lake’s operations. I believe that transparency allows for appropriate checks and balances and helps get all issues on the table.

— Susan Adkins Zalenski

%d bloggers like this: