The Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will soon be under the helm of a new leader.
Elaina Lamley said she knows her new position as Executive Director comes with great responsibility. The board’s decision to hire her both humbles and excites her.
She said she must fill the big shoes left by Tosha Jackson, who will leave The Chamber after Waterfest. Lamley said Jackson did a “fantastic job” the past three years.
In her new position, Lamley simply plans to focus on the members.
“I’ve always felt like this position is about the members, so that’s going to be my goal, focusing (and) turning it back on the members,” she said. “Creating those relationships and just trying to be out there more, find out what their needs are and how we can help them.”
Lamley said she plans to begin her first 100 days as Executive Director by meeting 100 members. She said she would like to learn what the members struggle with and how the Chamber can help.
During those 100 meetings, she plans to identify at least five members she can use as mentors. She would like to seek their perspectives at times to get their thoughts and advice.
She would also like to create a mentorship program for new entrepreneurs in the area. The program would ideally pair those new business owners with those who have established businesses.
She said the Chamber receives many phone calls on many different subjects each day. She would like to create a basic start-up plan to outline how to begin a new business in Excelsior.
She would like to bring training to the monthly luncheon meeting. She said she would especially like to show the members what they can obtain from the Chamber’s website. Members can use the website to post things such as jobs, member-to-member deals and other advertisements. Providing the training to use the website to their best advantage, she said, could be a great asset to the members.
Lindsay Hall will become full time at the office. She understands much of what duties Jackson and Lamley have performed and will be instrumental during the transition.
At the moment, Lamley said the Chamber does not plan to hire a third person for the office.
The Chamber hired the third person because Jackson understood both her’s and Lamley’s strengths. Lamley said she wanted to be out with the members, making relationships. Jackson excelled in marketing and graphic design. Jackson understood the need to create a position for someone to meet with the members, Lamley said.
Lamley said her strengths do not necessarily include marketing and graphic design. When the need arises for one to help in such matters, she said they may be able to seek a contract worker or intern.
Lamley said she would like to reach out to the Kearney and Lawson Chambers to create a bigger force for all area businesses. She also plans to continue working with Lyndsey Baxter of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership whom Lamley said does “a fantastic job with downtown.”
“Everyone benefits when we work together,” she said. “I want everyone to know that my door is always open. Stop by and let’s talk.”