New executive director begins quest to meet membership, expand value of Chamber

    It’s been a whirlwind six weeks for Tim Coffey, the new executive director of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. 
    Since stepping into the leadership position at the Chamber, Coffey says he has been on the fast track learning about the vast number of Chamber programs and projects, as well as sharing his experience and expectations with staff and members.

    “I want to be one of the faces people recognize as the Chamber,” said Coffey.  “I’ve been trying to get out and meet as many Chamber members as possible-- so far about 60 of the 408-- mostly in the area around the downtown.”
    That interaction and contact with the community is one of the perks Coffey said he is experiencing in his new job. He is anxious to build upon the ideas and themes he hears from members and hopes some of the ideas and contacts he has made as a Chamber and business leader will, in turn, benefit the membership.
    Coffey comes to Clear Lake from Washington, Iowa where he directed a Chamber of Commerce with approximately 200 members.  Clear Lake’s membership is double that and boasts a much more tourist based economy.  Ironically, Coffey noted that while Washington is a very rural community, the visitor and tourism committees at its Chamber of Commerce were the most active.
    “The group recognized the importance of celebrating what it had and making the most of it,” he said.   In Washington’s case, it was a barn quilt project which grew to include 117 barn quilts on five loops for tourists. Relocation of a polygon barn to the Washington fairgounds, near a replica of the world’s tallest corn stalk, has also attracted visitors to the southeast Iowa community.
    “Seeing that kind of success really sparked my interest in tourism,” he said, adding that all were accomplished without the funding a hotel-motel tax like we collect here, not to mention the benefit of having an attraction like the lake.
    While tourism promotion-- especially on the level of Clear Lake, is relatively new to Coffey, business promotion and enhancement is not.  He hopes to introduce Chamber members to a variety of business tools and learning opportunities, - Read More Via e-Edition

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