New Hartland Chamber Director envisions more community, business events

HARTLAND – A local businesswoman with a passion for horses, polo and event coordination has taken the helm of the Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce.

Emmaline Wheaton, a former chamber board member, was named the chamber’s new executive director. She started earlier this month.

Wheaton first became involved with the chamber several years ago, founding The Hartland Polo Classic, which began in 2017 after she took the idea to former executive director Katie Chuba.

“After being involved in the polo event for several years, I became a member of the (chamber) board of directors and became more deeply involved in the chamber,” Wheaton said.

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She served a one-year term as chair of the chamber’s Board of Directors in 2021.

Wheaton moved to the town of Hartland with his family more than 20 years ago after the Detroit Polo Club moved to the town from Milford.

A member of the Grace and Porta team winds up to pass the ball, chased by a Lake Trust competitor at the Hartland Polo Classic, Saturday, June 18, 2022.

A polo player and longtime polo instructor, she directed the Detroit Polo Club and founded the Detroit Polo School.

Whitten said her husband, a club professional, will take over the management functions of the Detroit Polo Club while she turns her attention to her chamber duties.

The Hartland Polo Classic has become a popular annual event and fundraiser.

Katie Chuba, attending her final function as executive director of the Hartland Chamber, poses with Mary Robinson at the Hartland Polo Classic Saturday, June 18, 2022. Chuba has stepped down from her position.

Chuba, who attended the most recent polo classic in June, left the gym to work for the Livonia-based International Hearing Society, a membership association of hearing health care professionals. He works as a member director of the association.

Chamber Membership and Events Coordinator Jenny Ross acted as interim director for a short time following Chuba’s departure.

“I’ve been thinking about how to make a change for myself for several years,” Whitten said. “I was looking for a different challenge, a different adventure. At first this (job) popped up and I was like, “No, I have a business.” But, I thought, I love working in the chamber and I love business and I have a lot of small business experience running my own business in Hartland, so I think that brings good prospect.”

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