James F. Minca
Chamber leader was champion for small businesses

James F. Minca, 65 FLINT THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION Saturday, April 14, 2007 By James M. Miller jmiller@flintjournal.com 810.766.6318

FLINT - James F. Minca, 65, former vice president of membership development for the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce, died of cancer Thursday at Hurley Medical Center.

Minca worked in membership services for the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"I worked with him for 26, 27 years. We weren't just work friends, we were friends. It hurts to lose him," said Larry Ford, former head of the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce, which last year merged with three other organizations to form the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Minca ran his own conversion-van business, VanCo, in the 1970s, before Ford recruited him to work for the chamber.

"He had just a caring, helping personality," Ford said. "He was an outstanding team player."

Ford said Minca's small-business experience made him effective in helping chamber members.

"He knew the small-business community, knew their needs and was able to help their bottom line," Ford said.

He said Minca came up with several programs to benefit members, including a Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan; a cellphone program that gives group discounts; a plan that pays for doctor appointments, health care aids and child care costs; and a worker's comp group plan.

"Give credit where credit is due," Ford said. "They were his ideas."

Minca helped charter the chamber's Inventors Council and organized its golf league for small businesses.

 

Ford said Minca was always smiling, even the last time he visited him in the hospital April 5.

"He still had that smile on his face," Ford said.

Minca was born in Flint in 1941 and lived in the area all his life.

He was among the founders of the Clio Chamber of Commerce in 1988. He was a former volunteer for the Clio Fire Department, and past videographer for the department.

He was a member of the Community of Christ church in Clio, a member for 27 years and vice president of the American Chamber Executive Association, and a member of the Michigan Chamber Executive Association.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 W. Hill Road, Mundy Township. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. today, and 1-4 and 6-8 p.m. Sunday.

He leaves wife Patricia; children Scott Niemitalo, Tony Minca, Tawnya Minca, Brian Minca, Krista Hannigan, Jason Jones and Toni Gunter; 10 grandchildren; brothers John and Jack; and sister Joanne Stayt.

MINCA, James F.- Of Mt. Morris, age 65, died Thursday, April 12, 2007.

James was born in Flint, Michigan on October 8, 1941 and was a resident of the Flint area most of his life. He served in the U.S. Air Force. On August 18, 1979 he married Patricia Cook. He was a member of Community of Christ in Clio.

He was a member of the Swartz Creek Lodge No. 458, F.&A.M., Elf Khurafeh Temple, member and Vice President of the American Chamber Executive Association for 27 years and member of Michigan Chamber Executive Association. Mr. Minca was a past volunteer for the Clio Fire Department and past videographer for the Fire Department.

Surviving are wife, Patricia; children, Scott (Michelle) Niemitalo, Tony (Becky) Minca, Tawnya Minca, Brian Minca, Krista Hannigan, Jason Jones and adopted daughter, Toni Gunter; 10 grandchildren; 2 brothers, John (Karen) Minca and Jack (Jean) Minca; sister, Joanne Stayt; several nieces and nephew.

He was preceded in death by parents, Frank and Ernestine Minca; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Rose and Ervin Cook. Special thank you to the Hurley nurses, Nora Taylor, Tammi and Gloria; Cancer Treatment Center of America nurses, Heidi and Sandy.