When it came down to the middle of a pandemic, the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce decided that a familiar face was best for their newest leadership position. From the start of COVID-19’s impact, Membership Director Trisha K. Brown has been contacting members and organizations affiliated with the Chamber and has a good understanding of the Chamber’s mission. Now, she is preparing to move up and into the role of the Chamber’s Chief Executive Officer as longtime CEO Mary Guardiola retires.
“The CEO is basically the director and lead of pushing our main mission to unite the community, maintain the quality of Oakdale, enhance tourism …” Brown explained, among other details. As the Chief Executive Officer for the Chamber, she’ll be helping organizations better utilize their memberships and tailor more towards their needs.
For those who don’t know, the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit that acts as a middle person between businesses and the community; they facilitate economic growth, help small businesses find their way and make transitions, and connect them with networking opportunities. The Chamber also helps the youth in Oakdale by offering scholarships to graduating seniors.
Brown joined the Chamber of Commerce as the Membership Director/Administrative Assistant in 2014. She currently has an associate and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with seven years of experience in management at Starbucks and 10 years of management at Taco Bell. Essentially, Brown’s position at the Chamber helps her aid local organizations and she’s not unfamiliar with what it takes to help run a business from the inside.
In her role as the Membership Director, Brown can pride herself on several accomplishments. She has been part of the Western Association of Chamber Executives, led seminars, and, on a local level, implemented a new structure of membership to the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce. Instead of organizations getting a membership based on number of employees, they can now pick a level of tiership that helps suit their individual organization better.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Trisha Brown’s caliber and experience step up to lead the Chamber,” said Ed Viohl, Chamber of Commerce Board President. “We are at a critical time in our community and we need renewed leadership to successfully navigate the pandemic, and be a resource for our members. Brown understands our community, members and our strategy to move forward. Brown is a visionary with a proven track record of execution. She is a strong communicator who is customer focused with deep leadership capabilities. Furthermore, as a current employee, she has a solid understanding of our challenges and goals.”
As for new initiatives, Brown is hoping to focus on the Chamber’s main goals. Currently, they are perceived as an events-focused group, which deters local businesses who don’t have the capability to attend functions. One of Brown’s goals is to let businesses know that the Chamber can help represent them and bring awareness to their organization, regardless if they can be present at a networking opportunity.
Brown added, “I am honored and excited to lead the Oakdale Chamber. I believe the Chamber is a great asset to our community and members, and I look forward to continuing its success.”