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Paulek chosen to lead chamber

The Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chairman Cam Patterson announced Sunday, Sept. 27, that Anne Tyler Paulek had been chosen to serve as the chamber’s permanent executive director.

Anne Tyler Paulek

Paulek had been appointed as the chamber’s interim executive director in June. Prior to that, she served as executive coordinator with the chamber for two years before then-Executive Director Joy Stump promoted her to assistant director.

“I am honored and thrilled to have been chosen as the executive director of the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce,” Paulek said Monday, Sept. 28. “It is an honor to be entrusted with this role by the chamber board of directors.”

In a Monday interview, Patterson noted one always hates to lose a longtime staff member like the chamber did when Stump left, but it did offer an opportunity for the board to do some important planning.

“We really felt at that moment that it presented a good opportunity for the board to really step back and evaluate the long-term path forward, both for the position and the organization,” he said.

When Stump departed, it was right before the COVID-19 pandemic fully hit the area, Patterson stated, and he said he thought the chamber really used the intervening period productively before asking Paulek to be the interim executive.

“When we asked Anne Tyler to step forward, there certainly is comfort in knowing that you’ve got an individual that’s got strong knowledge of the organization, so it’s just easy for her to hit the ground running and to keep things going in a positive direction,” he said, adding that she demonstrated creativity in leadership as well.

He stated that looking back on that interim period earlier this year, the board felt quite good about the planning it had done and the manner in which the chamber was being run.

“We felt like we had a good understanding of the challenges that would lie ahead and what we would need to do to navigate them,” he said. “And I think we just felt that Anne Tyler was the right person to lead us.

“She is very much an individual that is collaborative, so she recognizes the importance of building strong relationships with all of the entities in the town and county that do the similar work that we do in terms of supporting business and economic growth,” he continued. “She’s been creative in terms of the programs that the chamber has been able to implement and the goals that she has for the organization as we move forward. So we feel like we’re in a good spot.”

In his letter Sunday, Patterson wrote that it became clear to the board that Paulek’s leadership and vision for the chamber’s future was exactly what it needed as it moves forward.

Paulek gave some insight into that vision Monday.

“I am excited for what the future holds for Farmville and the surrounding areas,” she said. “Our goal is to further the interests of our businesses and our community. We will continue to provide supportive programming to meet the business community’s needs, continue to foster partnerships with community organizations and seek new and dynamic ways to engage our membership.

“I believe a healthy Chamber of Commerce goes hand-in-hand with the quality of life for those living and working in a community,” she added. “I am dedicated to seeing our chamber grow and our community flourish.”

Patterson said that for his part, he has always been a big believer that if you have good, strong talent internally, you should want to reward that and find ways to elevate and amplify that.

“So we felt like there was no need to look far when you’ve got someone as talented as (Paulek) on our team,” he said. “We feel like the best is yet to come for the chamber and the community, and (we’re) really excited about moving forward.”