Chuck Scott Keeps Homage to his Father and Coach
Monday, December 27, 2021
Article from the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle, ABILENE, KANSAS: “Somebody took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity. I feel obligated to return that somewhere.”
Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Chuck Scott, director for the Dickinson County Economic Development Corporation, grew up in a military family. His father worked as an accountant for the Air Force and constantly moved with his family for his job.
“It’s hard to consider anywhere home when you are military dependent because you move a lot. Most of my youth was spent in Bellevue, Nebraska, so Omaha metro,” Scott said. “So I’m a midwestern kid.”
Living in Bellevue is where Scott found his love of baseball, specifically at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. The now demolished stadium was a former home of the Kansas City Royal’s minor league team, the Omaha Storm Chasers (formerly Omaha Royals) and for the NCAA Division I College World Series. The stadium also was the record holder of the largest minor league baseball stadium.
“My dad and I spent lots of summers at Rosenblatt Stadium when I was a kid going to Royals baseball games,” Scott said. “My dad and I did not spend a lot of time together, but when we did, that’s where we were.”
Scott’s family has kept the sport in the family. Scott’s oldest son now plays for division two Fort Hays State University. His younger son is playing through high school. Some of the baseballs that sat on top of Scott’s cabinets behind his desk were first home runs hit by his boys.
Scott played baseball as well, though he decided to play football as a middle linebacker, and eventually committed to play for Kansas State University. At least, that was his intention. Before playing his first game, he sustained a career ending injury.
“I had a coach who understood that taking care of people was first and foremost,” he said. “So I was put on medical hardship and given academic money, so school was paid for through a sport I never played.”
Scott first attended school for television and radio. Earning his undergraduate, he joined a television station and worked his way up to station management for a few stations. When his superiors began to buy stations across the county, Scott decided to go back to K-State for his MBA in finance and accounting to better understand the financial side of stations.
“We had a track record of buying underperforming assets. so stations and improving them. The business model really was you get them improve to a certain point and then you get your return on that investment and let someone else operate it from there.”
The process of purchasing the stations involved Scott and the company looking at what the station is missing and what they could bring to a community. As it turned out, that process is something Scott actually enjoys.
“Maybe because of the military with us moving so much, and having to be welcomed and embraced by communities all over, I always found away to find the things I like about communities and maybe the things that were missing,” he said.
Scott took that skill, interest and the investment others poured into him throughout his career, with television, with banking and then with economic development.
“I absolutely love what I do, so this is what I get up wanting to do every day: help people,” he said.
That motive was one reason for Scott coming to Abilene to work as the director for economic development. The other was because of his father.
“My dad was a huge fan of President Eisenhower as a military person. When he finally retired, he thought he would be able to move to Abilene. So this is my homage to my dad who passed away before he could do that.”
After four years, Scott is leaving Dickinson County with his final day being Jan. 14. Two long-time professional acquaintances of Scott’s reached out to him for a position. Because of the opportunities for his wife and younger son, Scott took the job when the position was officially offered to him.
“I don’t do things individually. This is a family, and my family is involved in everything and every decision that is made.”
Until his last day though, Scott is going to keep working to improve the county and finishing what he promised to do.
“The community has been good to me and to the family. There are no hard feelings here, and I still want to do what I can to finish up what I started, and that was to leave this a better place than when I got here,” Scott said. “I think we’ve done some good things. There’s more work to be done.”