Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 8, 2013

Time to move on for chamber director

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — A few tears were shed when Della Wilson announced she was stepping down as the director of Pauls Valley’s chamber of commerce.

Wilson is leaving the position of leading the local chamber, one she’s held for the past seven years, to pursue that next chapter in her life.

The longtime director intends to serve her last day on July 16 before moving on to start her new work with a local and regional bank.

Even with her departure Wilson stresses the future looks bright for PV’s chamber with someone else leading the way.

“They have a good plan in place,” Wilson said. “That chamber is in top notch shape, that I guarantee.

“The chamber is very strong with a lot of new policies and procedures in place,” she said. “We’ve developed a lot of policies, updated our by-laws. You have a path to follow for everything.

“The person who follows in my foot steps will have a definite plan in place.”

Since arriving as the director in the summer of 2006 she has constantly been working to restructure the chamber in every way and create plans for each of its many activities.

It’s that work with so many chamber volunteers over the years that she’ll miss the most.

“I was part of a team with the chamber. I’m going to miss that,” Wilson said.

“But I’m going to embark on a new challenge, and I’ve very excited about it.”

Wilson is leaving the chamber to become a business development officer for First United Bank with her main focus on increasing the volume of business for the banks in the Pauls Valley and Ada areas.

“I’ll be talking to individuals, families, businesses,” she said.

“I will learn more about the services of the bank and work to provide those services to more people.”

Howard Grider, who only recently started his tenure as the chamber’s board president, said Wilson’s letter of resignation was received on Tuesday, July 2.

“Although I am obviously sad to see her go, I am happy that she has found a great career opportunity for herself,” Grider said. “We at the chamber wish her the best.

“In the very near future, we will establish a search committee to find her replacement.”

Thanks to her time here in PV, Wilson has plenty of experience in community development.

Prior to her work at the chamber, she served as the director of PV’s Main Street program and the Toy and Action Figure Museum.

“I knew I was at a ceiling of what I could do at the chamber,” she said, adding this new job does provide more long-term financial stability.

Wilson said it was also difficult at times to bridge that gap between revenue from chamber membership and other projects and the costs associated with operating a chamber, especially after the annual financial support from the city of Pauls Valley dwindled to zero last year.

“There’s just a big gap every year with that budget. It’s hard to make up that gap and still provide services to members.”

Still remaining at the local chamber is Wilson’s assistant, Lea Teves.