For four years now, the Eagle Chamber of Commerce has been an all-volunteer operation.
And those volunteers were a productive team - they dug the organization out of a $60,000 debt and managed to combine the community's two business organizations (the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce and One Eagle) into a single entity with a shared vision.
But, as one would expect, Eagle Chamber membership efforts have ebbed and flowed and it has been difficult to find continuity for programs.
"Fundamentally, the Chamber over the past few years under Mike Stevens and other board members, has dug itself out of a funding morass and put itself on a firm foundation," said Chamber board member Jim Ash.
But to propel the organization into the future, members decided it was time to bring in a paid professional.
Nov. 1, Taylor Slaugh began work as the administrator for the Eagle Chamber. She is headquartered at the Eagle Town Hall in a ground-floor space that will soon also provide offices for Eagle Marketing and Events Coordinator Meg Stepanek.
"I am from Eagle, I love Eagle and I want to help Eagle," said Slaugh.
For the past several years, Slaugh has worked freelance in event coordination and marketing. As the chamber's new administrator, Slaugh's first task will be to boost the organization's membership rolls.
Part of that effort will be focused on spreading the news about what the chamber has to offer.
"We are working to continue our relationships with the Vail Valley Partnership and Colorado Mountain College in the return of professional development and education opportunities," said Slaugh.
With her background in marketing and branding, Slaugh wants to offer consultation services and make sure the Chamber is a nimble resource for local businesses. The organization is also working to launch a new website and a buy-local campaign.
Slaugh said the chamber offices location at Eagle Town Hall is a great move forward for the organization. Ash credited Eagle Town Manager Willy Powell with helping make the space available.
Slaugh said the business community and the town as a whole should benefit from town's marketing and events coordinator and the chamber administrator working out of the same office space.
"Meg is about tourism and I am about businesses, and ultimately we can come together on events," said Slaugh. "By having this spot at town hall, our members can see the chamber as a reference that can help them."
In the months ahead, the chamber will focus attention on its signature spring event - the Screaming Eagle Golf Tournament and it will look to expand its events calendars. And the popular Business After Hours mixers will also continue.
"What we want to do is provide a great value to our members and all the businesses in our community," said Ash.
Slaugh can be reached by phone at 970-306-2262 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.