BELPRE - The Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce announced a new executive director Thursday.
Belpre mainstay Karen Waller was named the new executive director during the chamber's quarterly business luncheon.
"This is something I've been learning about all summer and was approved by the chamber board last week," said Waller. "It really just happened, and I'm excited to see where it goes."
Photo by Jolene Craig
Karen Waller, right, has been named the new executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce and plans to work closely with Jill Parsons, left, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Waller, who retired in May as elementary school guidance counselor from Belpre City Schools where she had served for 26 years, said she was in the chamber office in the spring and noticed Teresa Turner with the chamber seemed ready to move on.
"She has been taking care of the chamber offices for a few years along with her own business, and it was time for her to do more," Waller said. "So, I inquired as to if I could help and things just moved from there."
Waller said she sees this new position as a way to strengthen the working relationships between the chamber and schools as well as the city.
"I see a huge marriage of the schools, the chamber and the city," she said. "I would like to have the chamber work closer with those entities to strengthen all of them."
Waller continued that she believes the board and Turner have done a "terrific" job with the chamber and its members and she plans to continue on what they've built.
"There is an element of involvement that has been built between the chamber and the business community," she said. "My goal is to work closer with the schools and city to get the chamber out in the community more for people to understand what it is and what it does."
Waller said while she is retired from the school district and plans to remain retired, she sees this new position as a way to be more involved.
"It's a good fit for me because I can get to know the individuals in my community better, and I am grateful that I can help the chamber grow," Parsons said.