The Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge has announced Executive Director, Laura Doster, will be stepping down at the end of December. Doster has been with the Chamber since 2018 and led the organization through the challenges posed by COVID to create a more resourceful and viable community asset. “It is with a heavy heart that I step down,” said Doster. “I love the Chamber and the communities it serves, and I look forward to remaining active in a new capacity.”
Incoming President, John Anderson, indicates the Chamber is restructuring and re-focusing to more efficiently serve the mission of the Chamber. “A new position, Chamber Manager, has been created that will help us stay on track. The new Chamber Manager, Mary Deyak, will primarily serve as a committee coordinator, working directly with the Board of Directors and volunteer groups to achieve Chamber goals. She will also maintain the day-to-day office functions.” The Chamber office, effective November 14, will be open by appointment only. This will allow our small, part-time staff, a hybrid office environment.
Unlike traditional Chambers, the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge has always had a heavy focus on events while trying to support local businesses. Going forward, they will support volunteer committee groups leading events and community activities, rather than managing them internally. The new structure provides business owners and community members with new opportunities to bring their ideas to life and take a leadership role in creating activities for the area. The main events the Chamber will continue with direct involvement will be The Holiday Gala, Olympiad (both the swim and the 3-day athletic event), and the Dirty Dancing Festival. We will also continue to hold Chamber Cheers, Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings.
“Laura has been an amazing leader in our community in a very short time and is dedicated to helping create a smooth transition. We are lucky to have had her guidance these past few years, and very grateful she will be on the Chamber Board moving forward” said Teri Coutu, Past President.