The Chamber – Hailey,   The Wood River Valley has announced its decision to hire Jeff Bacon as its new executive director, effective immediately. After three years with The Chamber, operations director, Pat Bowton has resigned her position, to work with a local CPA firm. “We felt this was a good time for The Chamber to reevaluate the structure of our organization and make sure our staffing reflects the goals we have set out in our strategic planning,” explains Chamber board president, Richard Stahl. “In addition to promoting Jeff to executive director, The Chamber will hire additional office support to manage our grant dollars and assist with staffing the Visitor’s Center.”

Previously the membership director for The Chamber, Jeff has spent the past year working directly with Chamber members developing networking opportunities, creating advertising and marketing opportunities for Valley events and promoting Hailey and The Wood River Valley as a visitor destination. “I’m excited and very happy to work with The Chamber, its membership and board to continue the great work we’ve started in developing this organization into a resource for businesses throughout the Valley,” Jeff notes. “The Chamber wears several important hats and I’m eager to increase our effectiveness in regards to our resources for local business, our ability to promote the Valley as a visitor destination and our work in promoting Valley events.”

An Idaho native, Jeff was born in northern Idaho, but raised in Boise. “My father moved the family to California while I was in high school, so I spent most of my career in San Francisco and Los Angeles,” Jeff explains. “Six years ago the pull of my home state finally became too great to ignore and I moved back to the prettiest spot I remembered. It’s been a great move.”

“The board feels very fortunate to have had a chance to work with Jeff for nearly a year before making this move,” said Richard. “Our top priorities in choosing an executive director came down to the following: a team oriented leader with a proven ability to work well with all sectors of the business community as well as volunteers and staff, a candidate with a chamber background and experience in strategic planning, budget management and traditional as well as non-traditional marketing and e-marketing trends and finally, a thoughtful communicator and presenter who has worked within a tourism setting and understands the importance of advocacy and promoting programs through the chamber year-round.”

Jeff’s corporate background includes director of marketing with Hyatt Hotels and the largest importer of premium teas in the U.S. He has also owned his own marketing services company developing marketing plans and programs for small to mid-sized companies. “I’ve done considerable work in overseas markets including Japan, Ireland, Korea, UK and China,” Jeff notes. “It’s ironic that after all this time working on programs abroad, I’m back in my home state. I’m confident that my background in marketing will help The Chamber continue to build upon the great programs we’ve been developing.”

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