HURLEY — Dorrene O’Donnell is the new executive director of the Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce.
She started work on March 18, in a big way.
“My first official act as director was attending the governor’s conference on tourism,” O’Donnell said. “I learned a lot while I was there, and gained a lot of contacts.”
So far, the job has been “wild,” according to O’Donnell.
“I’ve been settling in, and learning the ins and outs of chamber life,” O’Donnell said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
O’Donnell brings experience to the job, after working for seven years for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism at the information center in Hurley. Around 15 years ago, O’Donnell started as the administrative assistant at the Hurley Chamber.
“I’ve had positions in the public eye, and I’m very glad to be back here at the chamber,” O’Donnell said. “While the lion’s share of this is tourism, I also want to work on keeping a good rapport with the local businesses, we also represent them as well.”
One of the challenging parts of the job is switching tasks, O’Donnell said. It can be challenging “switching from hat to hat to remember what task you are doing next. It’s challenging, but also exciting.”
Planning events is made easier with community support.
“With the events, there are already plans in place each year for those,” O’Donnell said. “Everyone knows what task they have and the response by people has just been amazing. So many people have offered to help me in any way that they can, so that makes it so much easier.”
The most enjoyable part of her job is seeing “the passion people have for their community,” she said.
“This community and the chamber board of directors has such a passion for this area,” O’Donnell said. “Being involved is a way for them to see what they can do to make this community better, and people really care.”
O’Donnell said she has some plans in mind, including using educational tools to show visitors and residents a new side of the area.
“Not only do we want to show people a good time, but we also want to educate them on what this community has to offer,” O’Donnell said. “We’re looking at some different options on educating visitors and local folks, but we’re waiting until we get the proper funding.”
“I am very pleased with my job, and I am so happy that the board of directors chose me to represent and market this area,” O’Donnell said. “The support from everyone has been very fulfilling.”
For more information, call the Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce at 715-561-4334, or visit hurleywi.com.