Pleasants chamber seeks new director

ST. MARYS – The Pleasants Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking a new executive director … one who will return more to growth and development of business.

Mike Smith, vice president of the board of the Pleasants Area Chamber of Commerce, said the new executive director will be a shift.

“The chamber, in the past, did a lot of the fairs and festivals,” he said. “We had taken that responsibility.”

The chamber’s previous executive director was offered another position and left. Smith said the financially strapped chamber, rather than rehire a new director immediately, decided to regroup and refocus its direction. The new executive director position will be considered a part-time position with flexible hours.

“We want office hours to be available and also generate other activities.”

It will also serve a dual role, acting as a liaison with the Pleasants County Development Authority. The director’s position with the development authority will be to concentrate on larger projects, such as creating a database of available retail and commercial property sites.

“The previous director did an excellent job,” Smith added, but he noted the job was being consumed by duties associated with the fairs and festivals, specifically the River and Rails Festival (the former St. Marys Bass Festival).

“It ended up consuming months,” he said.

Smith said the chamber will continue to assist with the festivals with the creation of its own board.

“It has enough success it can stand on its own. We will be a supporter of the festival, but not the driver.”

The bottom line, Smith said, chamber members want to promote the Pleasants area as a place to do business.

“We want to take care of the existing businesses here and offer resources and guidance,” he said.

The county has had a number of small retail stores and businesses expand, develop and grow in the county, Smith said. His own company – the Smith Candy Co. – moved from Wood County a few years ago.

“Every community needs them to grow,” Smith said. “The chamber is geared more to small businesses and consumers.”