After several years of keeping the Chamber of Commerce office here open with volunteers, the organization’s board of directors has hired some part time help.
Adriana Kiser began keeping regular office hours this week. Chamber president Tracie Hicks said Kiser will man the office Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.
A native of Bogota, Colombia, Kiser grew up in High Point and attended Appalachian State University before moving to Raleigh. She moved with her husband and children to Wendell in 2010. She has worked as a fitness instructor at Gold’s Gym and is now a personal trainer at Ritch’s Gym in Wendell. This is her first foray into chamber work.
As the chamber’s office director, Hicks said Kiser will maintain the office, assist board members with membership and events and serve as the chamber’s liaison to the community. “We hope this will add consistency and stability for our membership,” Hicks said.
Kiser said the opportunity to work with the chamber interested her because she had met Mayor Ginna Gray and some town commissioners through her work at Ritch’s Gym and they promoted a positive outlook for the town. “They were so excited about things that were coming to Wendell and I thought it would be fun to help with that,” Kiser said.
Kiser’s appointment marked the first time the chamber has had a paid staff person since April, 2013, when former executive director Melanie Paul left her position amid financial shortfalls at the chamber.
Since that time, the chamber has kept sporadic office hours with chamber board members manning the office as they were able.
Despite the staffing challenges, the organization has continued to sponsor the town’s annual Harvest Festival, which annually draws one of the largest crowds for any event in Wendell.
Kiser said she has attended previous Harvest Festivals, but helping organize this year’s event, which kicks off Oct. 7, has given her a different perspective.
“I was really surprised to learn just how much goes into planning an event like this. My eyes are definitely wide open,” Kiser said.