TEMPLETON — Templeton Chamber of Commerce Board President Courtney Morrow, said in early November that she was thrilled, and somewhat relieved, to name Jessica Main as their next executive director.
On the job since the first of the month, the Atascadero resident is no stranger to the community’s needs with strong local ties since 1985.
Jessica’s mother Joanne Main, held the Atascadero Chamber president post until her untimely passing in 2011.
The duo worked closely together as Jessica formed her own business and was active with that chamber as ambassador and president of their Women in Business Committee.
“That’s definitely something I’m passionate about,” said Main as she organizes a Dec. 11 Women in Business event for Templeton. “I’m looking to model that program here on what’s been successful in Atascadero.”
Keeping her busy since the start of the month has been the chamber’s upcoming Templeton Christmas Tree Auction and Dinner, “A Night in Narnia,” on Dec. 8.
With Main and Chamber Administrative Assistant Gail Kudlac, as the Templeton organization’s only employees, Morrow said, the intervening months without an executive were trying, but “Gail was wonderful through the whole process,” as they managed the search, setting up a new website and end-of-the-year events. Notches on their belt in September and October included a California Assembly candidate forum and Germanic-themed Oktoberfest.
The 250-member chamber had been looking for a new CEO since Aug. 16, following the departure of Sarah Maggelet. Though the search was actually mercifully brief as far as national executive recruitment goes.
Main said she found the posting through the local website SLOJOBS.com.
In the announcement of her hiring, Main said she was honored to be chosen to lead the Templeton Chamber, and was, “looking forward to furthering the mission of the Chamber to promote economic vitality, improve quality of life and encourage cooperation within our community.”
Responding to questions about the uncertainty raised among business owners and members through the transition period, Main said it was of primary importance to get in touch with them personally and to begin better chamber outreach overall.
“I’ve been there,” she said. “I’ve owned a small business for 16 years. It’s important for people to know where their dues are going and for us to support them in providing opportunities. That’s my goal.”
Bringing in economic opportunities, as much as possible without additional cost to participate should be the role of the organization, she added.
According to the the Chamber’s press statement, the resume which earned Main the job included: a bachelor’s in Visual Communication with a minor in Business from The University of California, Davis; experience running her own company, JEM Design; and a portfolio of print and website design for numerous businesses throughout San Luis Obispo County.
She later added that, as a recently single mom living with her two kids, horses and rescue animals, she’d been scaling back her web-based clients and looking for a stable job to throw herself into.
The contract for a new chamber website had already been allocated to the company eConcept before Main was brought on board, but her design background is sure to come in handy with upcoming projects.
As of press time, the older website was still online but a mockup of their new version was in testing awaiting debut.
The final evening “Night in Narnia” event takes place Dec. 8, at 5:30 p.m. in BarrelHouse Brewing Company’s “sour room.” A live auction of six decorated trees, donated by local businesses will benefit designated non-profits. For the 21-and-older crowd, tickets are available by calling 805-434-1789.