BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison Area Chamber of Commerce has selected a new coordinator and the candidate brings a wealth of information and ties to the community.
Savanna Collier, a 2009 graduate of Fort Madison High School has been selected by the chamber’s executive board as the new coordinator effective with the announcement Thursday by Fort Madison Partners Executive Director Tim Gobble.
“We are excited to have Savanna come on board as she has a lot of experience running events, some of which the Fort Madison Area Chamber already has in place, as well as having ideas to expand that event base to better serve the membership and the general public,” Gobble said.
“This new addition to our staff provides us the opportunity to evaluate what we are offering as a chamber. We can examine where our strengths are and build the chamber to make it a priority to become a member- to make your business a success though all the member benefits.”
Collier replaces Laura Francisco who resigned from the position on June 14th. Collier brings a wide range of experience in event planning, most significantly from her position as festival director with the Amana Colonies Festivals, Inc.
“I worked within the community to provide events that would bring in tourism and economic development per se to the community,” Collier said. “We would bring anywhere from 2,000 to 30,000 into the Amana community during these events. Going forward I’m hoping to do something similar and run these events well enough to help bring prosperity to this community.”
Her past duties included planning, implementing and managing all the major festivals with the Amana Colonies. She also had a stint with the Lake Cooper Event Center in Keokuk, working under timelines and budgets for non-profits; fascilitating volunteer efforts, marketing strategies and social media campaigns.
“I loved my job being festivities director in Amana, but I found myself constantly wanting to provide that same service to our hometown,” she said. “I tried to leave home three times and ended back in the same place.”
Collier has a bachelor’s of science from Iowa State University with emphasis in hospitality and event management and is certified with several professional food protection associations.
Collier’s first day will be Sept. 5
She said her initial 30 days will be pretty busy, considering she’s starting the week of the Tri-State Rodeo.
“It’ll probably jam packed with meeting all kinds of people. Trying to get out there and get my face out there and meet people and let them know I’m there for them,” she said.