Former admin team takes on executive role at chamber
Familiar faces will be the new heads of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce. As former Executive Director Russ Korpela steps back, the former administration team made up of Jenny Funk, Becky Beissel, and Kim Beebe will step forward as the new executive director team.
"At first there was a lot of discussion," Beissel said. "It didn't take long 'til they kind of realized this is the best option."
The team of three have a familiarity with both the chamber and the community that a new hire may not have had.
"They saw in us somebody who had all that knowledge," Beebe said.
A couple weeks into the transition, the three said the transition has gone smoothly, mainly because they were involved in much of the chamber's responsibilities and worked closely with Korpela while he was director.
"The members probably haven't even really noticed a change," Beebe said.
But she hopes they will.
"Members are going to be our focus for the year," she said.
She wants to continue, and grow, the connection with members.
The team setup will allow the three of them to use varied skills. Beissel does graphic design and enjoys focusing on the big picture. Funk works behind the scenes on managing the data and systems. Beebe likes to focus on strategy and the processes.
"It allows us to use our strengths," Beebe said.
The three live in Ellsworth and run their company Limelight Social Media here, and know not only the chamber but the community well. They want to keep the focus at the chamber on the community.
"By focusing on the community, there's a ripple effect to that," Beissel said.
Beebe hopes they can work with the community and its organizations to develop more for the village than the chamber may be able to do on its own.
"Together we can achieve more," Beebe said.
The culture Korpela created will influence how they step into the role, Beissel said.
"He's the one that really probably opened our eyes the most," she said.
Overall the three said they're excited to get to work. They want to work to better the Ellsworth community and business scene, not just for themselves, but for their friends and family.
"This is our home, this is our town," Beissel said, "and we feel it's important to enhance what's already here."
"We can see the potential in this town," Beebe said. "It's just so important to be reinvesting in it."