A New Direction
New Oldham Chamber director
has fresh ideas
Bizianes has prior experience
working for the O.C. Chamber
LA GRANGE, Ky. (March 2016) – Three and a half months after Deana Epperly Karem stepped down from her position as the executive director of the Oldham Chamber and Economic Development Authority, her replacement came in the form of someone already familiar with the job. David Bizianes, who had served as interim executive director since her departure, assumed a role for which he is more than qualified.
The announcement was first made Dec. 15, 2015, before an Oldham County Fiscal Court meeting. Originally from Louisville, Bizianes began working at the Chamber in 2009 as a part-time business outreach manager.
“At the time, we were only a Chamber of Commerce, and my duties were to get out and meet with our business owners to tell them about chamber programs and events,” said Bizianes, 40. He gained full-time status in 2010 when the chamber merged with Economic Development Authority. His duties grew to include economic development project management, data collection and business retention.
By 2013, Bizianes had become assistant director of the chamber. This position allowed him to “facilitate numerous expansion projects, including ConAgra, Artemis Electronics, Blue Alloys and All About Kids,” he said.
Bizianes graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Louisville. His long association with the chamber made him a perfect replacement for Karem.
In addition to coordinating Oldham County’s Work Ready Community Certification with the state, Bizianes has “worked with our team to implement chamber programs and events.” Bizianes is making some changes in his new role, working toward the goal of raising “Oldham County’s profile as a regional hub of activity for business.”
He is working on securing high level speakers and signature events, coupled with new marketing tools. One major change is that there will be no Showcase Oldham County event this year.
“Instead, we have moved one of our signature events, Celebration of Women, to this spring and are planning a gala type event for the fall.” The new date for the Celebration of Women will be May 12 at CityPlace in La Grange.
When asked why the big change, Bizianes said, “It felt like it was time. People are connected in ways that they have never been connected before. Chambers all over the country are trying to adjust and create relevant ways for members to network.”
Bizianes said the logistics for the Showcase were enormous and, “it didn’t really feel like it was offering our members or the community the value that it once had.”
In addition to a gala event later this year, the chamber is hoping to work with Project Guild of La Grange to offer chamber members a significant discount on booth rentals for Oldham County Day, always held the third Saturday in July. “We feel like this will offer great value to our members and also support a great community event,” he said.
Bizianes took his initial job with the chamber in 2009 because “I saw the chamber as an opportunity to work with a wide variety of businesses and industries to create positive change in our community. Connecting people while watching their businesses grow and create jobs for Oldham County is incredibly rewarding work.”
“He had a lot of experience with the chamber,” said Chris Roty, chamber board president. “He knows the county and the people very well.”
Roty said the chamber also used a recruiting firm to gather additional candidates for the job. But Bizianes stood out as the obvious choice. “We are very excited to see David step into the executive director position.”
Bizianes did, however, take a brief hiatus from the chamber before being named interim director. He worked for a short time in web developing and web marketing.
Before this, in 2011, Bizianes had started Blenderhead Media with a partner during evening hours when he wasn’t working at the chamber. Blenderhead is a full-service web marketing business that helps clients implement best practices in website development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, email campaigning and social media strategy.
“I’m very proud of it,” said Bizianes about the business. “It’s a unique model that emphasizes the use of data to direct the strategies used to meet a client’s ever-changing business objectives for the web.” He is still a silent partner with the company.
He actually began his marketing career early on in his family’s business, Bizianes Music Mart. Located in the Louisville Highlands for five decades, this business is where he first got a taste of marketing products to the public. He also does stand-up comedy on the side.
Bizianes said he was attracted to the idea of leading the chamber because of the momentum the county is seeing with new infrastructure. “Connecting people while watching their businesses grow and create jobs for Oldham County is incredibly rewarding work,” he said.
Back to March 2016 Articles.