The Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will soon be under the helm of a new leader with the recent resignation of its executive director.
Tosha Jackson, executive director, said she did not come by this decision lightly. She said she believes she must now pursue other opportunities.
“After I was hired nearly three years ago, former director Terry Smelcer came into the office and said, ‘I knew the first time I met you that you were going to do great things for the Chamber.’ I certainly hope that my time at the Chamber has lived up to that expectation.”
Jackson began working part-time Jan. 2016, with The Chamber as the Creative Director. She made the move to her current position in June 2016.
In her tenure, she said they’ve become more self-sufficient with the move to their new building. They’ve also grown in staff almost three-fold with the addition of Elaina Lamley and Lindsay Hall.
In a press release, Jackson said the team will remain solid. Jackson said dividing up the role between her and Lamley helped drive The Chamber forward. Lamley, she said, works as the director of membership services. Because Lamley handles all membership-related matters, members will not see a change in service during this time of transition.
Throughout her time with The Chamber, Jackson said the trolley program “exploded.” She said she began organizing the wine tours in Jan. 2016 and the board decided to purchase the second trolley the following July.
At last count, Jackson said they’ve sold about one-third of the wine tour tickets for the entire 2019 season already. This includes three sold-out tours and dozens of tickets booking out as far as November.
“The trolley program has exploded from a mere break-even standpoint to our second largest source of revenue.," Jackson said. "Thousands of visitors have been introduced
to our community and the wonderful businesses here because of the trolley tours. Waterfest, our biggest event of the year, saw profits top $20,000.”
She said she will miss the people the most. Especially Lamley and Hall, she said. They
possess the skills that balance out Jackson’s skills and weaknesses.
“And they’re just good people,” she said. That’s probably the hardest part of leaving this
job is leaving them and not knowing what’s happening,” she said.
At the moment, Jackson said she will be wide-open for future opportunity. She said she
also owns and operates TYPOGRFX, a very successful business that she stepped away from to operate The Chamber.
She said she will also be grateful to the Board of Directors for entrusting her to lead this
organization over the past three years. Jackson said her resignation will be effective July 1.
“I am also very grateful for all of the members who supported me both professionally and personally,” she said in a press release. “The knowledge I have gained and the relationships I have built are invaluable.”
Jackson said, looking forward, she believes the progress made during her term will continue under new leadership.
"I feel like there’s a lot of good momentum and good things and good people in this community,” she said. “ I really hope that momentum continues.”