At its business after hours event on Jan. 17, the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center announced it’s new, four-member management team. The new staff is an outgrowth of the chamber boards’ restructuring process, and includes Membership Specialist Jon Cobb, Event Specialist Carole Vowell, Welcome Specialist April Kali, and Jamie Billesbach has been reappointed as the chamber marketing specialist.
Buena Vista Chamber Vice President, Tonya Wyles presented the new staff members, saying that the eight-member chamber board is delighted with the dynamic new team and looks forward to their renewed focus on serving the diverse needs of the community.
The restructuring process was announced in late fall, in conjunction with three chamber round tables – two for chamber members and one for the community. They allowed the membership to express its needs, and the community to weigh in on the planned changes. The four-person staff structure, each responsible for their areas of operation, reports to the chamber board. It replaces the vertical reporting structure and adds staff depth to address community needs.
Cobb comes to the chamber with 40 years experience in the corporate and private sector. He has served on the board of directors of both Crime Stoppers and Easter Seals, and says he is looking forward to a singular focus on growing the chamber membership, as well as taking charge of the Business After Hours events and new business development programs. Cobb intends to visit all businesses in the valley to share the chamber’s new programs.
Vowell brings years of coordinating projects, logistics, and events to her new role coordinating all BV Chamber events; developing the post event reviews to assess their success and potential to deliver the town’s objectives. She gained her diverse experience while working within entities including AT&T Bell Labs, the Denver Art Museum, National Geographic, TIME and Girl Scouts of America. She graduated last year from the Chaffee County Economic Development Social Entrepreneur Leadership Program and participated in the county’s Envision process.
Kali, born and raised in the tri-state area of New Jersey, moved to the mountains in 2012 and only recently found Buena Vista. In her new position running the Buena Vista Welcome center, she’ll make use of that newcomer sense of what is special about this place, sharing that enthusiasm with visitors. As part of her new role, she’ll be redesigning the Visitor Center space, and collaborating with local manufacturers to bring in new lines of products and educational collateral. Another important goal will be to add to the Welcome center volunteer roster.
Billesbach has held the position of Marketing specialist at the chamber for two years, and has been reappointed. She has more than 35 years of experience in brand development, marketing strategy, merchandising and point-of-sale. Early in her career she was a vice president of marketing and purchasing for Barnie’s Coffee & tea Company. In her own consulting firm, she worked with clients in Italy, Holland, Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
“I love our small town and unique culture,” said Billesbach. “It is an honor to share all of the grandeur that one can see in our area and communicate just how special our small town community is.”
Those with questions and comments, or wishing to volunteer can contact the Chamber and Welcome Center at 719-395-6612, or go to the website www.BuenaVistaColorado.org .