JEFFERSON — Julia Chady’s choice to move her Indeco interior design business to Jefferson’s historic downtown has made a lasting impact on the community, preserving a landmark building and helping to revitalize Main Street.
But Chady has contributed to the community in so many other ways, as well.
The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce has announced that it has selected Chady as its Businessperson of the Year. The honor will be presented at the chamber’s annual dinner Thursday, Jan. 30, at 13 East.
The award is presented annually to a business leader in the local community who has demonstrated leadership and service in the local business community, the chamber and the community overall.
Chady is the owner of Indeco Interior Design Company, a full-service interior design company capable of taking a project from concept through completion and which offers all of the products needed for minor and major remodeling jobs.
She has served on the Jefferson chamber board of directors, has been chamber vice president and president, has served on numerous chamber committees, has helped to coordinate the chamber’s home show and downtown decorating efforts, and has served on the hiring committee.
She assisted with the Harry Potter Festival held in the community two years ago, has served as a chamber ambassador, and helped with “Around the Corner with John McGivern” when the public television guru featured the Jefferson community.
In conjunction with city government, she has worked on the city’s “branding” initiative, has served on city focus groups, and has been part of the Downtown Revitalization group.
In the surrounding area, Chady has been part of the Fort Atkinson Historic Preservation Commission, has assisted with historic watertower towers and is also a member of the Fort Atkinson Chamber of Commerce.
She organized and ran a bone marrow registry drive several years past in conjunction with “Easton’s Cause.”
In the past, she has volunteered with the local AFS foreign-student club and southern Wisconsin board years ago. She studied abroad in high school and has since hosted AFS students.
In terms of her professional affiliations, Chady belongs to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the American Society of Interior Design.
If they haven’t had contact with her personally, most people know of Chady through her downtown business, Indeco, which made a high-profile move in the past couple of years to the former Waldmann Shoe Store location on Jefferson’s Main Street. Chady assumed ownership of the building in 2017 and completed renovations in 2018.
The Jefferson businesswoman got her start working for Jan Niebler Interiors, assuming the reins in 2014 and renaming it Indeco. At the time, the business was located in a former bank lobby on the south side of Jefferson, but it soon became apparent it had outgrown that space and Chady went on the lookout for new opportunities.
In 2017, she approached longtime business owner Judy Waldmann, who had operated a shoe store in the same location downtown for some five decades. Though Waldmann hadn’t planned to retire, she was of retirement age and she saw the opportunity to pass her store on to a dedicated community member who would preserve the building and keep it as a downtown landmark for many years to come.
As a Jefferson native, Chady had a generational appreciation for the value of the city’s traditional downtown.
As she embarked on the renovation of the old Waldmann’s building, she did a lot of research on its history, committing herself to honoring the building’s heritage and baring some of its historic features.