Maravalli named executive director or Bethany-Fenwick Chamber
Representatives of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce announced this week that Kristie Maravalli would take over the position of its executive director.
“It is exciting to take over the position,” said Maravalli following the announcement.
“We actually started with an internal search, and that’s when we interviewed Kristie,” said Kami Banks, president of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “I think it’s great to have selected within to give that consistence and continuity. The team already works well together. It was just the right choice.”
Banks said the search committee for the position comprised a four-person panel that included Banks, a previous board member, a current board member and a member at large.
“We just thought it was a great fit for our membership,” said Banks. “We thought that she was more than capable for the position and had so many skills, really from her 20 years in athletics in Ohio that led to this position, with the managing, recruiting and coaching.”
Maravalli has served as director of membership for the Chamber for the past seven months. During that time, she was responsible for all aspects of membership development, including recruitment and retention, as well as the marketing of corporate sponsorships and publications. She also coordinated ribbon-cuttings, networking events and Chamber education academies and workshops.
“I think, since she’s been here, she’s done a great job building relationships throughout our membership, which I think is really important, as well as helping with our networking events,” said Banks.
Maravalli joined the Chamber after spending 14 years as the head women’s basketball coach at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and working for more than 20 years in athletics. She noted that her sports background has helped in her new position at the Chamber.
“Three of us started within a 10-day span of each other at the beginning of the summer,” said Maravalli of her co-workers at the Chamber. “We’ve all had the same learning curve. Honestly, it’s been a blessing because, being a former basketball coach, I’ve had the opportunity to build and be a part of a lot of teams. We really have a great team here. Our strengths complement each other. We’re strong at problem-solving. It’s been a nice transition that way.”
Maravalli said that the Chamber will not hire a replacement for her former position and will subsequently need to make some minor adjustments to ensure peak efficiency.
“We’re going to remain a four-person staff that we have in place. We do need to realign some job responsibilities here — not only for myself. However, we’ve been operating in this mode for the last three months, so in some ways my role hasn’t really changed all that much.”
“One of the things we’ve done in the last year is give each of our staff members a member-relations job description, as well. We’re going to move around some other responsibilities and have each of the staff members have a really member-focused job description,” added Banks.
Maravalli said that, in six months, the staff will review where they are and make changes, if necessary.
“We had transitioned the majority of our staff six months ago. So we’re going to get a year under our belts, see what everything looks like. Then we’ll be deliberate in the changes that we will make moving forward from that point.”
Maravalli said that, so far, she has received many positive responses since the announcement of her new position.
“The response has been overwhelming. I’m very appreciative of everyone’s well-wishes and confidence in us, and the good things to come,” she said. “The people have just been wonderful from the minute I walked in the door, just very supportive, very constructive with their feedback — not just me, but with all of us.
“We’ve gone through this transition, and we get a lot of positive. When there is negative, it’s just from the standpoint to help us get better, and we relish that. The whole area in general, the positive energy here and the willingness of people to go out of their way to help, is nice to see.”
“The feedback already from the membership has been really positive — I’m really excited,” added Banks. “I think it’s going to be an excellent year. I think Kristie is going to be a great leader within our community. I’m really excited to get the word out. I think she’s really forward-thinking, and it’s going to be really great for our membership.”
With her new role, Maravalli hopes to help the Chamber to continue to grow and better serve its members and the community.
“I definitely believe we have an opportunity to grow,” added Maravalli. “Right now, we need to see what everything looks like first. Then we’ll get feedback from our members, because our No. 1 goal is to increase the value of the investment for our members. Once we do that, we’re going to roll out some new initiatives and make the Chamber stronger.”