The Salem Chamber of Commerce has selected a Centralia woman involved in business promotion as their next Executive Director.
Jessiycka Coleman is really excited about starting the new position on Tuesday and helping Salem grow.
“I think it’s a perfect fit. When you think about my background the past couple of years since 2017, I’ve done nothing but work with small businesses, entrepreneurs, home-based businesses, our downtown municipality, anyone to see how we can help Centralia grow. Working on marketing pieces and events, that’s my life and that’s what this position is about. It’s about how you can help grow the economy and stimulate social activity in your community. It’s a perfect messing win-win opportunity for me and Salem I believe. ”
Coleman is a 1994 Salem Community High School grad, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Kaskaskia College, and attended Northern Illinois University at DeKalb before being recruited by a large corporation where she worked for 16 years before moving back to Centralia.
“I do want to start building partnerships and relationships with the community. I obviously grew up here, but I’ve been gone for 20 years. My first step is to build relationships with business owners, with the community members, with the municipality and see what I can do to support them, to see what they are looking for and missing, and create some amazing events. Some of my ideas I’ve come up with for Centralia I’d like to create for Salem as well.”
Coleman is most proud of the Monster Crawl held in October the past two years as a promotion for the Rail Coffee House in downtown Centralia. She notes it has grown to include visitors from two hours away and a tourist destination.
Coleman also pointed to her work on the Centralia Tourism Board and their first-ever multi-faceted Christmas event this year. She was just in the process of starting a Downtown Centralia Co-Op to help downtown businesses she will now turn over to someone else. She feels similar activities would work to promote Salem as well.
Coleman believes they can have a bigger impact if the Salem Chamber works with the Centralia and Mt. Vernon Chambers among others.
Chamber of Commerce President Chris Daniels says Coleman was one of nine applicants and one of five interviewed.
“We had interviewed several fantastic candidates. Jessica Coleman came to the interviews she seemed to have the passion and ideas we felt were consistent with improving and increasing the objective of the Chamber of Commerce so we voted she would be our new Executive Director”
Daniels says the chamber board also wants to thank outgoing Executive Director Tabitha Meador for continuing to work on the home show and other chamber projects until a replacement was found. The chamber board also wishes her the best in her new position as the city’s Economic Development Director.