The search for a new permanent Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce executive director has been underway since Kelli Parker took over as interim executive director around late-June and the chamber board president is hopeful about the local candidates who have applied.
“We do have several local applicants,” Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce board president Toni Genaro said. “We hope to have the position filled by August 1.”
Parker said she isn’t one of the two applicants for the permanent position despite her willingness to serve.
“I would be happy to [apply] but I have another commitment,” she said.
Parker said she will stay in the interim position until a permanent executive director is brought on board.
“It’s been great,” she said Thursday about the two weeks she’s been the interim executive director.
The chamber of commerce helps connect businesses in Southern Humboldt and also sponsors events like the Fourth of July fireworks, assists nonprofit organizations and gives out scholarships to South Fork High School graduates heading to college, Parker said.
“The importance of the chamber of commerce is to help with tourism and to help with businesses working together,” she said.
Genero said the chamber advocates for all Southern Humboldt businesses regardless of whether they are one of the 205 chamber member businesses or not.
“It’s a great little business hub,” she said.
Genero said the permanent executive director will be responsible for running the chamber office on Redwood Drive in Garberville, greet visitors who stop by the office and give them tourist information on all the Southern Humboldt amenities.
“It’s kind of a secretarial position and public relations,” she said. “ ... We see a countless number of visitors every year.”
In August 2015 Laura Lasseter became the executive director of the chamber which was then known as the Garberville-Redway Area Chamber of Commerce. She said she has since been elected to the board of the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau and will continue to advocate for and serve Southern Humboldt County on the convention and visitors bureau board.
“I will continue to be a voice for Southern Humboldt, that’s just one of the things I have going on,” Lasster said.
“Southern Humboldt needs a voice.”
She said she will continue to live in the Southern Humboldt area.
“Southern Humboldt is in my heart,” Lasseter said about the area her family has lived in for 40 years.
For more chamber information visit garberville.org.
Hunter Cresswell can be reached at 707-441-0506.