taps GLI for new director
focused on growth, membership
BUCKNER, Ky. (February 2006) After a three-month-long
search and pouring over 50 resumes, the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce
board has hired Deana Epperly Karem of Louisville to replace longtime
executive director Joe Schoenbaechler. Schoen-baechler resigned in September
to take over as executive director of the Oldham County Economic Development
Authority after serving as its interim director since April.
Karem was introduced to the chamber at its quarterly membership
meeting, held Jan. 17 at the John W. Black Community Center in Buckner.
She comes to the job from Greater Louisville Inc, the Louisville Metro
Chamber of Commerce, where she served for seven years and most recently
as director of technology business development. She begins her new post
in Oldham County on Feb. 8.
I believe in community service, and I would like to do things
that are outside the normal realm of service to bring in new members,
said Karem, 39, upon being introduced.
She said she wanted to spend the first 120 days of her term getting
to know members personally and to learn about their businesses. I
want to find out what you want from your chamber.
She listed her second goal as new member recruitment and the third to
focus on program development, including new activities that promote
networking opportunities for members.
Her fourth goal is to strengthen ties with chambers of commerce in neighboring
counties to see how we can work together to grow our region because
when the region does well, we do well.
Lastly, Karem pledged to do the hard work to stay strong as a
chamber and keep it going. Its not time to put away your working
boots yet, she warned board members after having completed their
task of hiring her. I want to bring people together to take us
to the next phase.
Gary Hardy, president of the chamber board, said after dozens of interviews
with top quality candidates, Deanas name just kept coming
to the top.
She was first offered the job in November but declined because of worries
about an impending pregnancy. But after receiving a clean bill of health
from her physician, she called back in December with renewed interest
in the position and later accepted it.
Karem graduated from Mercy Academy and earned a masters degree
in public administration at the University of Louisville. She serves
as vice president on Mercy Academys board of directors and on
the board of the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park Foundation. In 2001, she was listed
on Business First newspapers 40 Under 40 rising stars.
In 2004, Louisville Magazine listed her among its Women to Watch
Karem is married to Stephen Karem, a self-employed home repairman. She
has one stepson, Avery, 12.
Community Showcase postponed
The Oldham County Chamber of Commerce has postponed its
annual Oldham Community Showcase business expo until Saturday, March
4, with the preceding business awards luncheon to take place at noon
Friday, March 3.
The event, which is held at the former Wal-Mart building in the back
of Crestwood Station Shopping Center in Crestwood, had originally been
scheduled for Feb. 4. But chamber board officials said the March time
frame would work better this year, giving the chamber more time to solicit
booths and to allow newly hired executive director Deana Epperly Karem
time to adjust to her position.
Booth sales had been sluggish for this 12th annual event, but with the
news of postponement, more members have purchased booths, according
to chamber officials. The show generally attracts more than 100 businesses.
The cost to rent a 10x10 booth is $225 for chamber members. The price
includes electricity, a table and two chairs.
Showcase hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Fridays luncheon
is $10. The deadline to apply for the annual Oldham County Top Achievers
Awards has been changed to Feb. 6. For information on the awards or
to reserve a luncheon ticket or booth space, contact Connie Patrick
at the chamber office at (502) 222-1635.
Back to February 2006