A wagon cannot move forward without its wheels. Andrew “Andy” Mungenast always was a vital wheel in the Junior Chamber movement. From the Herculaneum Dancing Club days until his death in 1976 at the age of 81, he was one of the organization’s most prolific and effective contributors.
While “Hy” Giessenbier was the visionary and idealist, Mungenast was essentially the practical man behind the scenes. His diligent service in the early years of the movement probably saved it from an early demise. In an era when written communication was necessary to progress, he served as secretary to the Young men’s Progressive Civic Association, the Junior Citizens and the St. Louis Junior Chamber of Commerce.
In 1921, he began three consecutive terms as national vie president of The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1922, he was a catalyst in broadening the base by working as chairman of the Expansion and Growth Committee. A year later, under an ailing president, Mungenast assumed nearly all the responsibilities of running the organization while maintaining other duties. This was not the last time he would take command of national officer’s position when they were unable to fulfill their commitments.
His numerous honors included being named honorary president of The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1949 and honorary resident of Junior Chamber International (an organization he helped develop) in 1967. Several years before his death, he told Future magazine, “The greatest single thing that has ever happened to St. Louis… was the founding of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.”
of Andy Mungenast
He continued, “This movement replenishes itself, year after year, and it has given great leadership to our country, in all branches of government and the major industries. Worldwide, the whole movement can be a great force for good. It can be a great thing for world peace.”
The sprit of Mungenast, a successful man who had only an elementary school education, fits the words of President Abraham Lincoln who once said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives, I like to see a man live in it so that his place will be proud of him.”
Andy Mungenast’s place was the world.