Familiar face, new role

Smith joins Chamber staff as new membership director

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Denise Smith, left, has been hired as the new membership director at the Webster City Chamber of Commerce. She joins Executive Director Jennifer Peterman, right.

A familiar face in the Webster City business community has joined the staff of the Webster City Chamber of Commerce.

Denise Smith will serve as the new membership director of the Webster City Chamber. She joins Chamber Executive Director Jennifer Peterman who was hired in December.

Smith is no stranger to the community. She operated SOS Vintage at 707 Second St. for about four years. Smith closed her business at the end of 2018. She has been active in the Chamber of Commerce activities and was a strong presence at the annual Junquefest event, held each Memorial Day weekend.

“I really enjoyed promoting Webster City and all of the activities that went along with it. The community in general has a great personality and a great vibe. I hope we can bring events forward that let us showcase that,” Smith said.

She served on the Chamber Board in 2018, and as the group went through the process of hiring a new director, it was discovered that the job was a big one for just one person. The board approached her about taking on the membership development role.

Smith said she thought the job will be a great fit for her.

“It makes me happy that I can stay involved in the business community and in the Webster City community that I’ve grown to love,” she said. “It makes me happy that I can help contribute to the success of the chamber.”

Smith, who started her duties Monday, will dive right in as preparations are underway for the upcoming Junquefest, set for May 24-26.

“We have actually quite a few new vendors this year,” Peterman said. “Denise is leading the way on that project.”

“Junquefest is really near and dear to my heart,” Smith said. “I’m excited to be back for event.”

Peterman will handle the financial aspect of the job along with the day-to-day business obligations. Smith will work more closely with members.

“She will be the face of our members and will reach out to them about things we can help them with and to get more businesses to become members,” Peterman said. Both women said they hope to promote more of the services available through the chamber.

Regular chamber coffees will be returning in March. The events had been suspended last summer but will now once again be offered on a quarterly basis.

“Our first one is March 6 at Fuller Hall. We’re looking for a sponsor to come on board and provide coffee and goodies,” Peterman said.

The Chamber’s annual meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 25 at the new Briggs Woods Conference Center. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple and must be purchased by Feb. 13. To purchase tickets, stop by the Chamber at 628 2nd St.

“There will be a comedian and a 50/50 raffle,” Peterman said.

The two are looking at possible new events in the fall.

“We’d like to find more ways to interact with the community as a whole,” Smith said. “I think the community needs to see us as an organization that’s here to stay and that we are transparent and that we’re trying to make sure that we’re serving our members.

“We want to make sure that we have a better outreach for members and to make sure they know we’re here to support to everyone,” she said.

Smith said the key to success in Webster City is collaboration.

“We have to collaborate to ensure that we are all successful. That’s what we want to see. We want the whole community to grow,” Smith said.