Chamber again finds itself in reorganization

Hunter Herbaugh
Thursday, March 4, 2021
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The Glendive Chamber of Commerce has gone through a pretty substantial transitional period in recent months, putting an almost entirely new leadership team in place. Following their board elections last month, the chamber has a new board president, vice-president, second vice-president and multiple new board members, and with the recent resignation of Chamber director Billie Jo Pew, the new board members will be handling those responsibilities for the time being.

A majority of the board is made of new members, with only a couple of members of the previous board staying on.

Among the activities coming up this spring, there is the Makoshika Basketball Tournament and paddlefish season, two of the most prominent annual events in the community. Despite coming in at a busy time, chamber board president Denny Malone said the new board is excited and ready to meet these challenges and have additional ambitions they hope will benefit the community.

“Everybody has the general mentality that we want Glendive to thrive and be successful, so it’s good to know that everybody is on the same page. We do have plans, we want to get things squared away right. Through the transition, it feels like we lost a few things, so we kind of want to pick those up,” he said.

Malone credited the previous board with guiding the organization through the last year, making it possible for the new leadership to get off to a running start. The only thing that seemed to catch everyone off guard, he noted, was the previous director’s resignation.

Pew took over as the chamber director last April. She issued her resignation to the board on Feb. 9 and her term officially ended Feb. 26. In her resignation, Pew said she felt she was ready to move on. Following her resignation, it isn’t the first time the Chamber has had to rely on the board to handle the director’s responsibilities, as that was the situation the Chamber was in for several months before Pew took the office.

Still, the board is feeling confident. Katelynne Eslick, one of the newly elected board vice-presidents, said she is expecting good things out of the board as many have so far shown good coordination and are generally on the same page.

“I think we have a great board. We all know how big of a job there is to do and I think going forward we have some really good thoughts on how to get those things done. I think our board has a really good line of communication because there’s a lot to do, so we have to really keep in contact with each other and make sure we’re all on the same page,” she said. “I feel good about everything.”

A particular advantage Eslick sees this current board of having is that several of the members are also local business owners.

“I think that’s the best thing to do, especially since what the Chamber does affects us personally in our own businesses. There’s lots of business owners now on the board, not just people who work at them and that can make a difference,” Eslick said.

Currently, the biggest obstacles the Chamber is facing are filing deadlines that all come around at this time of year, including reporting requirements that were attached to funding received under the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Securities Act, Malone explained.

Malone said they also have a list of things that they are hoping to get off the ground. Including a “Dawson Days” celebration being formulated by Teresea Olson and Sara Plummer. The previous board had been asked by the Dawson County Economic Development Council to assist in the creation of a cultural event, something that Malone noted another member of the new board is interested in seeing happen.

“We’ll get through a lot of the stuff here. First thing though, we got hit with a lot of this stuff all at once, especially reporting and stuff that we got to get through, but we’re confident that we’ve already weathered part of this,” Malone said.

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