Chamber hires new executive director
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 12:15 pm
Just in time for one of the largest events of the year, the St. Paul & District Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director to help guide and manage the organization.
Linda Sallstrom began work with St. Paul’s chamber on July 8. She says her first focus as executive director will be to organize the upcoming Rodeo Kick-off Supper set for Aug. 25, along with getting to know businesses and “where they want to go.”
Sallstrom is originally from the area, but she and her husband lived away for a number of years. They moved back to the County of St. Paul six years ago and now live in the Owlseye area with their three daughters.
Sallstrom’s background is in administration, and both she and her husband have been involved in a variety of community organizations over the years. Most recently, the Sallstrom family has been involved with St. Paul 4-H and the Boscombe Community Centre.
“I understand how a board works . . . I understand this (chamber) can only be as strong as the membership chooses it to be,” says Sallstrom. She adds that she is looking forward to having the opportunity to “create” and “to have some input in the community.”
Although the two are still in the process of getting to know each other, Chamber President Alice Herperger already speaks highly of the newly hired executive director.
“I am so excited for the next year, at least,” says Herperger, adding, Sallstrom’s “calmness” and personality seem to be a great fit with the chamber.
The president is pleased to have someone in place to help move the organization forward. The chamber has been without an executive director since April, although summer student Brooke Mulkay has been a big help in the office, keeping things running, says Herperger.
Right now, Sallstrom’s position is only three days a week, but the chamber is still working to make the position full-time, says Herperger.
Over the coming months, Sallstrom hopes to learn and understand what St. Paul businesses, specifically chamber members, want and see as value. Although she will also be busy with organizing rodeo events and Christmas promotions, Sallstrom is looking forward to sitting down with the chamber board in the future to learn which direction they want to move.
“I can’t move forward until I know where we’re at,” she says, adding, “I think we all want to see our communities healthy.”
If businesses in the St. Paul area are healthy, that creates a healthier social aspect as well, she says.
Sallstrom also acknowledges that every community is different, and what works in one area may not work in another. But, she is eager to find out what will work in St. Paul and help build the chamber into a strong support and resource for local businesses.
“I want to be here,” says Sallstrom.