As the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce ponders the hiring of an executive director, chamber members stress that it is important that the new person knows the proper direction to steer the organization.
Chamber vice president Sam Nolte said during Monday's monthly meeting the organization is wanting to hire a part-time executive director, along with a full-time secretary. The secretary's duties will be split between the Chamber of Commerce and the Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
But to hire a director, Nolte said it is imperative that the Chamber plot a direction for the group to go.
"We can't hire one without having goals and a mission statement," he said. "It's not fair to hire them and say, 'Go figure it out.'"
The discussion to hire an executive director was prompted by a desire to have the Chamber of Commerce take a more active role in the community.
"It seems we have been adrift as a Chamber," Nolte said. "We have our monthly meetings and speakers, but there has not been a lot of education. We need to hit the reset button."
Part of the new director's task will be to increase membership in the organization. Nolte said he often hears the same response when he asks new business owners to join the group.
"What can the Chamber do for me? That's a good question," Nolte said, noting the Chamber could serve as mentor to up-and-coming businesses. "Several of us have gone through bumps and bruises. It would have been nice to have had a mentor."
The Chamber wants to adopt a new philosophy of working more closely with state and local government leaders, "so we can all be on the same page," Nolte said.
The Chamber is also considering ways to empower and unify small business by staging events such as networking breakfasts, computer training and counseling.
Thoughts of providing "Member to Member" discount programs, high school education and workforce development aspects are still being discussed.