Ashley Ackerson is the newest member of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce team, coming aboard last week as the organization’s event coordinator.

Ashley Ackerson is the newest member of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce team, coming aboard last week as the organization’s event coordinator.

”Ashley has been with the community development department with the Joplin School District for the past two years,” said Lauri Lyerla, executive director of the chamber. “A lot of the things that she planned were similar to events that we do, so she’s got some experience that we are excited about,”

Lyerla explained that an events coordinator was added to the chamber staff to enhance existing chamber events.

“To be able to spend more time to make them more successful events and over time to be able to offer the community more events,” she said.

With Ackerson now on staff, Lyerla said she is freed to really dive into the chamber’s new objective to add more value and benefits to membership.

“So that our members are getting more benefit from their membership,” she said. “And then to increase membership. I think in the past — this job does entail a lot of different aspects — and so it’s been a needed position for a long time, and figuring out how to work that in is important and I think our membership is really going to see the benefits of that.”

Lyerla said the executive director hasn’t previously had the needed time to get out and visit with members to seek answers on how the chamber can be of benefit to their business in any number of ways.

“Whether it’s with promotion, just be able to meet with them more,” she noted. “(Or) go out and actively invite people to become members of the chamber, get more information out to our membership.”

Lyerla said the addition of Ackerson will help make all the processes work better. She explained that the chamber is in the process of implementing a new membership management software that will tie into its website to make the membership data base searchable.

“It gives our members a presence on the web, a link to their website,” she said. “Once again, our membership should find more benefits, they’re going to be able to automatically send out an email referral. So if someone calls and says, ‘Hey, I’m looking for a plumber,’ then I can immediately send a message to all the plumbers in my membership that this person is looking for a plumber.”

Lyerla said people will be able to see how others are using the chamber to find their businesses and to get referrals. Currently, she said you can look through the chamber’s membership directory and find a PDF to flip through, but you can’t actually do a search for a business.

“Once this new software is integrated into our website, they can go on and search for builders,” she said. “And all the builders in our membership will pop up with a link where they can email them directly, they link to their website, their Facebook, all those different things. And that is not at an added cost to our membership, that’s at their current membership level.”

She continued on.

“I am very, very excited to bring Ashley on,” Lyerla said. “She’s got a wonderful personality, is energetic and I think everyone is going to like what she brings to the table.”

In a prepared statement, Eric Norris, chamber president, stated, “We are very excited to have Ashley join our team. Her passion and experience will be an asset to the chamber. Ashley will serve the Chamber in coordinating special events, work with committees on annual events and projects, produce the weekly newsletter for chamber members and strive to enhance the relationship between the chamber and the local community.”

Ackerson attended Missouri Southern State University in Joplin upon graduation from Seneca High School.

“I am excited to be a part of the Neosho (Area) Chamber of Commerce,” Ackerson said. “There are many exciting things happening in the area and this is a great time to get involved. I have a passion for building positive community relationships, planning events to showcase the best of Neosho, and all the while working with other businesses to better the city for our future. Neosho is a small town that has big possibilities.”