It has been two months since the Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce has been without an Executive Director. Erin Kittson resigned from that position in late July, and for now, the Chamber’s Board of Directors is stepping up to handle things.
Chamber President Stephanie Eney and the Executive Committee is “mainly overseeing operations. We are very luck to not have too many things going on in the way of events and such as we navigate a new process at the Chamber. It has been many years since there was not an Executive Director,” informed Eney.
Kittson’s last day was July 24 and before that Amy Overstreet was the Executive Director. She left that position last December to take over as Executive Director of the Cut Bank Education Foundation and Alumni Association.
“Erin was very proactive and will be greatly missed. She was always thinking outside the box and due to COVID, she really stepped up in trying to find new means of revenue. She put together the local love raffle that we held back at the end of May and she even designed the Local Love logo that now can be seen around the state. The logo was so popular, other communities adopted it,” said Eney.
So where is the Chamber headed now?
“We are rebuilding and re-evaluating our processes because all of the directors have full-time jobs outside the Chamber,” explained Eney.
“We are looking to fill the position, but we are not rushing the process as we want to find someone who is a good fit. We have started advertising for the position since Erin gave her notice and have not yet received any local applicants. It may end up the position will look a little different than it did from when Amy was with the Chamber. She had really developed the position to what it is today,” she added.
Even without an Executive Director manning the helm, Eney said, “We are moving forward on planning the Holiday Bazaar and it is pretty certain we will also be doing the Parade of Lights, maybe just slightly different.”
She continued, “We are still a little hesitant on everything, due to not knowing how things could play out over the next couple of months. There has been lots of discussion on what this next year is going to look like. We want to plan future events but are honestly taking it month by month.”
Eney admits, “We are also trying to figure out all the processes that were so well managed by both Erin and Amy. They just took care of so many things.”
According to Eney, the Chamber is “hoping to find new ways to help build and promote the local businesses and ways to showcase our awesome community. The processes may be slower than we like, but we will get there. There are some really great members on the board and on the election ballot for the next year.”
Joining Eney on the board is Nate Kavanagh, Vice President; Rhonda Grainger, Secretary; Jenika Sammons, Treasurer; and directors Don Grubb, Jessica Hedges, Tim Kipp, JR Myers, Kristi Rowell, Bryan Simons and Amber Simonds.
Eney, Simons and Rowell will end their first three-year term at the end of this year. Don Grubb also “terms out” after serving six years on the board.
It might seem a bit out of sorts, for now, but Eney assures, the Chamber “will get there.” The Board of Directors wants to see not only the Chamber find success, but the community as a whole, as well, she stressed.