Each year an individual who is an active participant and supporter of Chamber activities and who contributes to the economic, civic, commerical and educational interest in or around the Wayzata area is chosen as Person of the Year.
In 2019, Peter Hitch brought nothing but a passion to his 40-plus year business career in corporate law, intermodal transportation, sports technology, food, computer businesses, and property management. Most recently, the 14-year owner and president of Data Doctors in Wayzata, his interest in technology became the basis for assisting small businesses and individuals with the whole range of computer, networking and technology issues. With a motto of “there’s plenty of time between midnight and 6:00 am,” it’s been the volunteering that has brought him the biggest rewards. Sports with his wife, Wendy, and two athletic daughters turned into youth sports coaching: skiing, soccer, golf, and platform tennis. Somehow there was time for more.
Believing in “learning by doing,” Peter joined the team that launched the Minnesota Children’s Museum in 1978, helping it grow into ever-evolving educational experience and a national institution. In the 1980s and ‘90s, Peter helped the YMCA Camp Warren Board bring its mission of building integrity, self-reliance, and leadership for boys to separate single gender camping for girls, too. “Warren is simply life-changing,” he says. A member of the Greater Wayzata Chamber of Commerce for the past 15 years (Board Chair in 2014 and 2015), he helped develop the Chamber’s initial Vision Statement and Five Year Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.
At the Chamber, Peter has worked with the chamber staff and a creative, inspirational committee to build Wayzata’s biggest festival, James J. Hill Days. His goal was to bring fun to volunteering building on the success of dachshund races, car shows and street markets, developing significant sponsors and instituting “enhancements” like music concerts, choreographed fireworks, a full-featured carnival, log rolling, an outdoor movie, a night market, and “water wow” spectacles such as water ski shows, voyageur canoe races, wake surfing and flyboarding demonstrations.