New chamber directors reflect on first summer

Berlin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Becky Jenkinson smiles while volunteering at Berlin’s Farmers & Artists Market a few years ago. submitted photo

by Laura Lyke
Green Lake Reporter

As Green Lake Country’s 2015 tourist season is coming to an end, two area chamber of commerce rookies deserve big pats on the back.

Beth Pelland of Princeton and Becky Jenkinson of Berlin are wrapping up their first summer as new executive directors in Green Lake Country, and both feel nothing less than right at home.

Pelland has just completed her first year in Princeton under her new position and remains passionate and excited about the small town she’s grown to love.

“My husband and I owned a company here for 18 years, but I’ve lived in the city of Princeton for a little over 10 years,” Pelland said. “I’ve come to absolutely adore and love Princeton. I knew that I wanted to do everything I could to help promote this area.”

Pelland originally is from Chicago, a place she still cherishes. However, she found that leaving the city left her with a greater appreciation for the small-town community Princeton has to offer.

“Really, I love the people most,” Pelland said. “Everyone is so personable. They pitch in with events in town. Everyone waves. My husband and I would walk down the street and people would look us in the eye and say ‘hello’ and at first it was so strange. In Chicago you don’t do that.”

The Princeton director not only enjoys the warmth of a small community, she also has great pride in what the small town has to offer.

“I think that out of our five communities Princeton offers so much,” she said. “We have the Fox River, the pre-historic sturgeon who visited us in the spring, the whooping cranes who visit us in the summer, the boating and outdoor activities. We also have some of the best shopping — we have obviously our flea market, our antique shops and many other unique businesses.”

Jenkinson, Berlin’s director, shares the same pride as Pelland for her community

She took over the position this past June.

“I moved to Berlin about six years ago, and I’ve always believed in helping the community that you live in,” Jenkinson said. “Everyone has something to offer, whether it be your time or monetary support. It takes a community to make our businesses, city or events a success.

“I started off volunteering my time with the Berlin Farmers & Artists Market trying to increase attendance and visibility. My second year with the market, we also acquired the ‘Concerts in the Park’ event.”

Through working with the two organizations, Jenkinson gained the experience and connections that led her to believe that the chamber of commerce would be the perfect fit for her.

“I love the small-town atmosphere,” Jenkinson said. “I just love being able to walk to almost any park in town and have the Fox River as a beautiful backdrop to so many activities and events.”

Continuing her first year, Jenkinson’s goal is to create a unified front with other area chambers. She stands by the belief that if each community supports one another, it could only help the area economically.

“I absolutely love meeting new people, making new connections and finding a way to collaborate,” Jenkinson said.

“It goes back to the people in this community who step up to the plate and want to help and get things going,” Pelland added. “That’s what these communities are all about.”


Leave a comment