There’s a new face in the Okotoks Chamber of Commerce office.
Jayme Hall has taken on the role of executive director for the Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce as of Nov. 8.
Hall comes from the Eagle 100.9, where he was the host of the morning show and program director for the past four years.
“I’m a huge fan of the Chamber, what they did and what they are doing for Okotoks, so when the position came up I thought I’d throw my name in the hat and see what happens,” said Hall.
He said he’s looking forward to embarking on something completely different and getting to know the business community in Okotoks better.
Having emceed several events and helped with a number of fundraising and business events in Okotoks through his job at the radio station, Hall said he’s eager to put his skills and connections to use in his new position.
There will be some learning curves along the way, he said.
“I think there will be some learning challenges with reporting to a board of directors that I think anybody who hasn’t worked for a board before can expect right out of the gate,” said Hall. “And it’s a big role. There are 400-plus members to get to know and realize their needs and properly communicate those to the board of directors.
“I think there will be some challenges there, but nothing I don’t think I can handle.”
His experience in the community and education are going to help him along the way, he said.
Hall is currently enrolled in a marketing certificate program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, something he decided to pursue while working at the radio station.
He said the certification will allow him to better serve Chamber members.
After seven years in the radio broadcasting industry, Hall said he’s excited to move in a new direction.
“It’s been the only professional career I’ve had, so it’s a little bit of a career change – a little plot twist, as I like to call it – changing things up a bit and doing something different for myself,” said Hall.
“It’s going to be a bit of an adventure at first I think, especially because they’ve had no staff for three months.”
Chamber of Commerce staff were laid off at the beginning of August, leaving the office vacant through the fall.
Former Chamber employee Carol Quinn has been helping out in the meantime to keep the wheels turning.
Hall said he knows Quinn and is excited to work with her as he learns the administrative part of the job.
“I know Carol, which is awesome,” said Hall. “She’s amazing, so I think we’ll work well together right out of the gate, so she can teach me things.”
Chamber of Commerce president Andrew Gustafson said the Chamber is indebted to Quinn, who has helped bridge the gap until a new executive director could be hired.
“She’s certainly made it possible for us to not feel that gap nearly as much as we would have without her,” said Gustafson. “She’s been really wonderful for us over the past couple of months.”
Gustafson said the Chamber is looking forward to having Hall on staff.
“He brings a connectedness to the community that we didn’t see in other applicants,” said Gustafson. “He brings youth and vitality and an eagerness to learn, as well as leadership skills.”
He said Hall brings creative ideas and understands the challenges surrounding small businesses, having worked in one for his entire career to-date.
One of the best qualities is that Hall can be a leader but also be led, he said.
The Chamber of Commerce will host its November luncheon exactly one week after Hall starts his new position, the Christmas social follows one month later and the annual general meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17, he said.
“Fairly quickly comes our trade show before we know it, that’s in April, so he doesn’t have a whole lot of time to sit back and watch,” said Gustafson. “He’s going to have to get in and get his hands dirty pretty quick. But he’s ready for it, he’s eager for it.”