Bates takes helm at Mt. Vernon Area Chamber of Commerce

Steve Chapman

Brittni Bates, the new director of the Mt. Vernon Area Chamber of Commerce, said she plans to use her skills in marketing and communications to benefit the members of the chamber.

With Apple Butter Makin' Days approaching, volunteers and board will help

The Mt. Vernon Area Chamber of Commerce has a new director. Brittni Bates’ first day on the job was Monday, Aug. 29. She succeeds Pam Dudley, who stepped down as director on July 31 after six-and-a-half years in the position.

Investing in the community
Bates has lived in Mt. Vernon for eight years with her husband, Jason, and they have two small boys: Briggs, 3, and Breyer, 1. She said she took the job at the chamber for the sake of her family, as well as the community.
“We have come to love Mt. Vernon in the short time that we've been here,” she said, and we do plan on raising our family here (so) … I view this position as a way for me to invest in the community, not only for my family and for my little boys, but also for the families and small businesses in Mt. Vernon and in the area.”

Bates plans to use background in communications, marketing in role
As chamber director, Briggs said, one of her favorite parts of the job is being able to meet and speak with the chamber’s various members.
“I absolutely love talking face-to-face to our business owners and members,” she said. “I love building relationships and connecting people to businesses or services. I feel like I thrive in that face-to-face communication and just strengthening the relationships in this community.”
Prior to coming to the chamber, Briggs was self-employed as a freelance writer and marketing agent, and she feels she can use her skills and experience to benefit the Mt. Vernon community in her new role as director of the chamber.
“I plan to use those skills for leveraging for the benefit of our small business owners here in Mt. Vernon,” she said. “I feel like the chamber, in partnership with small businesses, can make Mt. Vernon the best place to live and work. And with the help of our volunteers, whom we’re ever so grateful for, I feel that we can boost the economic vitality here by helping small businesses continue to grow and thrive, but also with the goal of attracting new business here, as well.”

Support of committees, volunteers crucial for success in coming days
Bates has come to the chamber at a critical time. Apple Butter Makin’ Days is less than two months away, and the holidays will follow soon after. However, she said that with the help of the volunteers who have made the event a success for over five decades, this year’s festival will be as successful as those in past years.
“Right now, I'm definitely relying on the help and support of our board as well as the Apple Butter Makin’ Days committee who have been … just excellent and so supportive and encouraging,” she said. “(Also), I'm … heavily relying on the experience of our volunteers and our committee members to keep me abreast of what's going on (and) what's being implemented. I also want our volunteers to feel empowered that … if they've been assigned a task that they feel like they have the trust and the resources to be successful in whatever it is that they're going to do."

New ideas to be introduced over time
Bates has a few ideas that she would like to see implemented in the upcoming months, but she said she plans to introduce them gradually.
“I have lots of ideas but … my style is not to just come in and wipe the slate clean,” she said. “I do want the help and the feedback from the community, from business owners, from our members. Of course, I do have a few ideas of my own. I would like to establish a program that incorporates the youth in our town in more so than just volunteer roles, so I have a plan to incorporate the youth in some more official roles here at the chamber.”
Another idea Bates had was to “boost” digital marketing within the chamber.
“I think that there's a lot more that the chamber can do in digital marketing efforts and also provide resources to our business owners in that regard,” she said. “I hope to implement programs that will give our business owners and our members the resources to be successful.”
Bates said Mt. Vernon has embraced her in her new role as chamber director, and she envisions a long and fruitful relationship between herself, the chamber members and the community at large.
“I'm just really thankful for the support and the warm welcome I've received,” she said, “and (I’m) very, very excited to get to know the people of Mt. Vernon. I’m just looking forward to working together to make Mt. Vernon the best place to live and work.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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