French named chamber director

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Lori French

LE MARS — New staff organization for the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce was announced Monday by Chamber Board President Michaela Brown.

“Lori French, current Main Street Director, has been promoted to the position of Chamber/Main Street Director. In this capacity she will oversee chamber and Main Street program activities,” Brown said.

Brown also announced that Heidi Nemmers is joining the Chamber/Main Street staff as event and member coordinator.

“Since joining the organization in September 2021 as Main Street Director, Lori has led the Le Mars Main Street program, retaining its National Main Street Program Accreditation, promoting our downtown businesses during Christmas in Hometown Le Mars, and mentoring our Open4Business program contestant to a regional win and a place in the state finals in August. In addition to her Main Street responsibilities, Lori took on chamber projects including fundraising activities, new member recruitment and Ice Cream Days events,” Brown said.

French said she is very excited about this new position at the chamber.

“I think that it will be a very helpful change for our chamber members. I look forward to all the exciting new things to come to assist those businesses,” she said.

“I appreciate the board trusting me with this endeavor. It has been a challenging few months, much thanks to Rich Ziettlow for assisting me. I look forward to Heidi Nemmers coming back to the chamber. She did such an amazing job before and is just a delightful person to work with.”

A Powerful Duo

Brown said with Nemmers returning to the chamber, the two women will make a great team.

In her capacity as Event and Member Coordinator, Nemmers will work closely with French and the various chamber and Main Street committees in program administration, fundraising events coordination and member recruitment and retention.

“We are excited to announce Heidi’s return to the staff after a hiatus. She brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the chamber and Main Street programs,” Brown said.

Nemmers’ new title reflects the added responsibilities she is taking on from her previous position at the chamber.

The changes in staffing came about in January, as the chamber and City of Le Mars took a close look at the positions.

The city looked at creating the position of community development director.

“As you know, a lot of what the former chamber director position was with the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation (LBIC), which did a lot of economic development,” Brown said. “So in that interim period, now that the LBIC position is moving, and since Jan. 1, Lori has been doing a lot of the chamber and Main Street jobs together. It was obviously a lot of work but she’s been doing a great job of handling both, with assistance from Rich Ziettlow. So when we really looked at the positions, we knew she was really capable of being the Chamber Director and Main Street Director, with having that supporting role of having as events coordinator which Heidi is stepping into. These two will get the job done exceptionally well.”

Brown added Nemmers had assisted with the Ice Cream Days Festival as a volunteer this year.

“This will be our staff moving forward,” Brown said. “Lori has done a really good job in getting new members into the chamber and promoting us well. I think they will be a great team and will keep highlighting all that Le Mars businesses have to offer.”

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