Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 7, 2013

Local chamber gets new leader

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Day one is now only hours away for a Garvin County woman chosen to serve as the new leader of Pauls Valley’s chamber of commerce.

Sherri Wing has been selected to step in as the local chamber’s new president. Her first day on the job is set to be this next week.

That’s the word of a chamber board official who on Friday said Wing had accepted the offer to be the organization’s new director.

“We do have a president, and she’s going to start on Monday,” said chamber Chairman Howard Grider.

Wing, who currently lives in Foster, grew up in Pauls Valley and later graduated from high school in Bray-Doyle located in neighboring Stephens County.

However, it’s Wing’s experience later on that sold chamber officials on her being the right person for the job here.

“She’s a local person who went away to college and worked in Baltimore, Maryland for one of the largest event planning companies there,” Grider said, adding she worked in that job for 12 years.

“Because of that job she has the experience in sales, planning and organizing events, budgeting,” he said.

“We felt like she was a perfect for the job here.”

The search for a replacement started after Della Wilson announced in the summer she would be leaving after serving as the chamber’s president for the past seven years.

Wilson left to become a business development officer for First United Bank with her main focus on the Pauls Valley and Ada areas.

The process of finding the right candidate has not been an easy one for the handful of chamber board members, mostly from the executive board, who as volunteers working on their own time served as the search committee.

“We started even before she left,” Grider said, referring to Wilson’s departure in mid-July and the work to find her replacement.

“It’s been tough. We’re volunteers, and that’s part of the reason why we’ve taken so long,” he said, adding the group met almost weekly.

Included in the effort were newspaper and online advertisements, along with help from the state chamber of commerce.

“We got in about 25 applicants, more or less, and interviewed about six of them,” Grider said.

Weeks ago search committee members had narrowed their choice to another individual. In the end that person and the job offer didn’t match up leading the committee to continue the search.

That search finished with the selection of Wing, who has already accepted the job offer, Grider said.

She will work with Lea Teves, who continues to serve as the director’s administrative assistant.

“I think the next thing for her is to get out and meet everybody; introduce herself to people here in town,” he added.