Carrie Subity has returned to her home state, and taken up residence as the new membership director for the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.
She grew up in Dover, graduating from Caesar Rodney High School in 1996. However, Subity already had some background in promotion by that point. She said she’d been involved in a lot of community programs and on-stage, even as a young child.
Her father, a school principal in the district and a local entrepreneur, provided a lot of inspiration, too.
“He was well known, and promoted his businesses just by being him,” she recalled.
He owned the Dover Nautilus at one time (which has since become a YMCA gym), among various other ventures. “He’s kind of like me — a jack of all trades,” Subity pointed out.
After high school, Subity went on to Ohio University (Athens, Ohio), on a field hockey scholarship. “I was thinking about going into advertising,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to work with people, in some way.”
She said she’d found another mentor there, in her event planning instructor — a young professional woman who came back to teach. “She was a real role model,” Subity pointed out. In addition, she said she’d fallen in love with the small campus — and her field hockey team earned a national ranking when she was a senior, for the first time in 15 years.
Throughout, she commuted back to the east coast for summer vacations in the Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach area, working for the beach patrol and at various restaurants.
In 2000, she earned her degree in organizational management, and moved to Washington, D.C. Subity wet her feet with the National Soft Drink Association (industry lobbyists).
“That was interesting, to move to the big city and get thrown into the politics of business,” she said.
One year later, her college sweetheart, Jon, graduated and Subity returned to Ohio to be engaged (they married in 2003, at Ruddertowne in Dewey Beach).
She went to work for Right Management Company, which helped struggling companies that were forced to lay off employees transition into new careers.
“We helped people get back on their feet, get back in the swing of things and into the job market,” she said. “We helped them work on their resumes — some of the factory workers, who’d been in the same position for 30 years, didn’t even know what a resume was.”
She did that for a year or two, then took a teaching/coaching position for a while.
The Subitys moved back to the east coast last year.
“We’d been talking about it for a while,” she said. “We’d been in Ohio for almost nine years, and we’d been planning to move somewhere.”
They were looking at possibly the Washington, D.C. area, midway between their families — but Subity was pleased when they wound up closer to hers, back in Delaware.
“It’s been a long time,” she said. “It went fast, but I’m definitely glad to be home.”
When the position at the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce opened, she jumped at the opportunity.
“Everybody always told me I’d be a good salesperson, but I never wanted to sell something I didn’t believe in,” she said. “When I came here, I felt like I wasn’t selling — I was promoting a wonderful benefit to the local community.
“I’m informing business owners what we can do for them, and I think that’s a lot,” she said.
Subity noted the various publications that the chamber distributes to local businesses and northward — the directory/buyers guide, offering links to other members and business to business referral, the business map/guide (circulation 30,000 a year), the visitor’s guide for renters and local real estate agents (60,000 a year) and the relocation packet for newcomers.
“And of course, there’s a great benefit in networking with other businesspeople at the chamber events — not to mention the value of the Visitor’s Center alone,” she added.
Subity also noted the chamber’s practice of giving back to the community, through initiatives like the book bag drive for low income students (in partnership with Adopt-a-Family), Junior Achievement (chamber staff and members show students the ropes), Workplace Partnership for Life (encourages organ donation) and support for VFW programs like Operation Uplink (phone cards for personnel overseas, and VA hospital patients).
The chamber also makes an annual donation to the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation, which provides a few scholarships for local high school graduates every year.
Subity said she hoped to start making the rounds, stopping by all the chamber businesses to personally introduce herself over the next year or so. It’s an ambitious goal, but she said it came with the position. “As membership director, meeting with business owners and the public has to be the goal,” she said.
She seemed to have enough enthusiasm to accomplish that goal — after less than a month at the chamber, she said she felt it was a perfect fit.
The Subitys are having a home built in Ocean View, near her parents, and Subity said her brother and sister-in-law’s family lived just across the bay in Annapolis, so she was happy to be closer to them, too.
“And you can’t beat living at the beach,” she added.