Editor’s note: Answering The Purcell Register’s five questions this week is Elisabeth Baker, Executive Director of the Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce.
Q. How did you become the Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce manager?
A. I saw the job posting for Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and it sounded like an interesting job with lots of various aspects to it. I also grew up here and want to see the area grow and succeed.
Q.What is the most interesting part of your job?
A. I encounter so many people from the local area and afar and get to help connect them with the Heart of Oklahoma. Also, there are a lot of moving parts, and every day is different.
Q.What is the process you use when planning events?
A. Our Chamber events bring all kinds of opportunities from business networking to community events. They start with an idea and then are executed with the support of committees mostly made up of board members. Our networking events are a wonderful opportunity for new or growing businesses to get out and meet new people. Events also encourage community enrichment.
Q. Is it easy or hard to get new members and why do you think that is?
A. It depends. Mostly new businesses are eager to join. Retention seems to be the more challenging aspect. Our members are our family. The support I see members have for one another is the best. Continued support encourages members to stay.
Q. How important is a chamber to small town Main Street and businesses?
A. Our chamber of commerce provides access to valuable resources and relationships that help businesses grow and market their products. At our local chamber of commerce, we can offer visibility, credibility, support, and more for your new or growing business. We strive to promote all our businesses in our Heart of Oklahoma Chamber family members made up of five towns. Purcell, Goldsby, Wayne, Washington, and Lexington. We also provide leadership in coordination of local role players, formation of partnerships, networking and promotion of members, communication and information flow and business support and training.
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