Melanie Wade has been named the new Mena Polk County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director beginning January 10. Wade brings with her extensive experience in event planning, communications, and a strong spirit of community volunteerism.
Wade is no stranger to the local area, relocating here from Oklahoma in 2012. She quickly became embedded in the community through volunteering and her role as News Director for Pulse Multi-Media from 2013-2015.
“Melanie has an impeccable work ethic. She has a vast network throughout our community and has built many strong relationships based on trust, love of community, collaboration and a vision of how everyone can work together to promote and grow Mena/Polk County,” said 2022 Chamber President LeAnn Dilbeck.
The Chamber board will welcome three new members for 2022: Jessica Smith, Mena Regional Health System; Tanner Hooper, Chambers Bank; and Brooke Hines, SouthWest EMS. Holly Henry of Meadow Pine Cabins was also re-elected for her second term. The full 2022 Board of Directors are:
LeAnn Dilbeck, President; Brad Castor, Mike Godfrey, Greg Goss, Terri Harrison, David Maxwell, Sara Mitchell, Nina Moore, Jessica Smith, Tanner Hooper, Brooke Hines, Pilar Fowler (past President, but no voting rights). A new executive board will be elected during the Jan. 20 board meeting.
The Chamber office will also be temporarily relocated to 601 Mena Street while the City of Mena addresses some necessary renovations at the Mena Depot Center. “We anticipate returning once the repairs are complete,” Dilbeck said. She also expressed the Chamber’s appreciation for the continued partnership with Mayor Seth Smith and the City of Mena.
Fowler said that the last couple of years have been challenging for the Chamber and its members, but the board already has some very exciting events and member development plans slated for 2022. “We strongly believe that Melanie is the perfect fit for this renewed focus and energy that the Chamber has for 2022.”
Wade is enthusiastic to take the lead at the Chamber. “I am very honored and excited to take on the role of executive director of the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce. I absolutely love this community and I can think of no better way to give back the warm welcome my family has received while living here. To plan, promote and preserve this beautiful area is something that is close to my heart, and I look forward to working for, and with, all involved.”
Wade will assist the board in reviewing applicants for an administrative assistant with hopes of being fully relocated and fully staffed by Feb. 1. Until then, the Chamber offices at the depot are closed. Wade can still be reached at 479-394-2912 or at email@example.com.
The Chamber of Commerce is an integral part of a growing and thriving community and Dilbeck is optimistic for 2022. “The Chamber is like most businesses in Mena… a small business. We are membership driven and in 2022 will strive to not only promote our area for economic growth, relocation and tourism, but to create value for our members. Our mission is to be a resource for our members and our community. So stay tuned… more announcements are coming!”