Kim Daniels named Chamber director
When Kim Daniels heard that the local Chamber executive director was moving on, she was immediately interested in his job.
"Teach me, Casey. Tell me what you do. What's the role?" she remembers asking Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Casey Kaiser.
Wednesday was Daniels' first day on the job as the interim Chamber executive director.
"I'm not looking to come in and change everything," Daniels said. "I'm mainly looking to keep a good thing going but also grow on what's already here and see what more we can do."
As a Chamber board member and Chamber ambassador, Daniels has been involved in the local business scene since taking an administrative assistant position with the Mosaic Medical clinic in Prineville in November of 2015.
"With her background, her leadership style, the marketing background she brings, I think she will be good for us right now as we're looking to grow the organization's visibility, Prineville, tourism, that's going to be a natural fit," said Chamber President Travis Garner, who was on the selection committee with a half-dozen other Chamber board members.
Daniels was raised in Eugene and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in 1998. She moved to Prineville in 2002 and has two daughters in middle school.
For 14 years she worked as a media buyer/marketing coordinator for Les Schwab Tire Centers — seven years in Prineville and then in Bend for seven years after the headquarters moved.
She took the job at the medical clinic 2 ½ years ago.
"I made that change because I wanted to be close to home, close to my kids, available, and I just wanted to be in Prineville again," Daniels said of her career change.
She became the community contact for Mosaic Medical and found herself more and more involved with the Chamber. She's been a Chamber ambassador for two years, promoting events, representing the community and the Chamber as well as promoting tourism and commerce. A year ago, she became a Chamber board member.
When Kaiser recently announced that he would be taking a job with the City of Prineville Planning Department on June 11 and leaving the Chamber, Daniels jumped at the chance.
"I was looking for a way to use my skills because I wasn't really getting an opportunity to do that at Mosaic," she said. "Anything I can do to give back to the businesses, anything I can do to promote tourism or bring people to experience our community and our town would be great."
Kaiser became executive director in late November of 2014. He will stay on until late next week to help with the transition and will be available to assist Daniels in the next few months.
Garner said the board looked to a national chamber executives organization for guidance in hiring their next leader.
"A lot of her skillset matched the criteria from that organization that we were using as a template," he said. "She was willing to accept the position as an interim basis, get her feet wet, give her a chance to get through the events season, work with Casey. In exchange for that, we're not going to pursue a search right now. We're going to see how she does."
Come September, the board will conduct a full evaluation and make sure it's a good fit for both sides.
"At that point, we'd make a determination if we wanted to go out for a full job search replacement or whether to keep her on," Garner said.
Daniels, meanwhile, looks forward to using her skills for the betterment of Crook County.
"My main thing is just continuing the progress that has been made here in the past few years. Personally, I feel like Casey has a really good thing going, and I want to continue that and build on that," she said. "I do want to bring my marketing skills and that expertise and see what we can do to get more tourists here and to get more people to experience not only what Prineville has but what Crook County has."