GRAND LAKE - The Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce has hired a new chamber director and is restructuring to also hire a tourism director.
Kacey Beres, who for the past 16 months has worked as the membership services and tourism director for the town of Rifle and before that was the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce director from 2009 to 2011, officially starts her job on Monday. In the meantime, Beres, a Wheat Ridge native who said she enjoys fishing, camping and riding four-wheelers, said she will be helping out with this weekend's ice-fishing contest on Grand Lake.
Beres' job primarily will focus on the needs of chamber members in a newly restructured chamber of commerce, according to outgoing executive director Lisa Jenkins.
She will also be charged with managing the visitors center and will be in charge of parades and other events directly related to promoting members.
Meanwhile, the chamber plans to hire an equally paid and qualified individual to be the chamber's first tourism director, whose primary responsibility will be to market the town of Grand Lake in the visitors center and beyond and take the lead on chamber-sponsored events and overseeing the chamber's support role for non-chamber sponsored events.
The chamber did offer the position recently to a potential candidate, but that person did not take the job, Jenkins said, so the chamber plans to advertise in search of candidates for the newly formed position.
The chamber board had voted unanimously to split Jenkins' job into two positions rather than hire an executive director plus an assistant.
The chamber's visitors center coordinator Stephanie Shannon, who served as assistant to Jenkins, has accepted a position at Wells Fargo Bank.
"I feel this job is too much for one person to do," Jenkins said, "when you take a look at the events alone that I had on my plate."
The salary of the tourism director will be bankrolled from the town's advanced marketing and service funds of $32,000, plus 95 percent of town-collected business license fees forwarded to the chamber, which equates to around $28,000. The position will also be supported by a tourism block grant from the Grand County Tourism Board.
The position of the chamber director will come from membership dues, chamber-website ad sales and chamber fundraisers.
With the chamber's rocky history of a former executive director found guilty of manipulating the organization's financials, Jenkins said the chamber plans to continue with its implemented strict financial policies and procedures in which directors have no authority with the financials or payroll. A system of checks and balances with a part-time bookkeeper, quarterly CPA and an auditor will continue, she said.
"With a staff of 32 volunteers for the Visitors Center and two qualified directors, the chamber has a good shot of really taking this town to the next step," Jenkins said, "building tourism in Grand Lake."
After two years on the job, Jenkins turned in her resignation on Jan. 21 to return to work at the Jenkins' family business The Gateway Inn in Grand Lake.