Anadarko Chamber extends search for executive director

  • Anadarko Chamber of Commerc

Experience, energy and enthusiasm are three of the qualities needed in Anadarko’s next chamber of commerce executive director, conveyed by Kenneth Corn, Anadarko’s city manager and chamber board director. Corn also serves on the committee to select a new executive director.

With only two applicants, the chamber search committee has extended the search for the position until Oct. 15. Candidates should have experience with chambers of commerce, economic development groups, nonprofits or business leadership posts.

“We’re searching for someone who is good at dealing with the public, well-organized and has fundraising experience,” Corn said. “They really need to be able to help the business community grow.”

While the pandemic hasn’t shuttered many Anadarko businesses, the community has lost some restaurants because of lack of business created by the virus and government restrictions.

Anadarko City Council provides $40,000 in funding to the chamber each year, Corn said. Additional funds for the chamber comes from membership dues and annual fundraisers.

As a chamber director and city manager, Corn is hopeful the next executive director will be able to resurrect Anadarko’s many community events to their former glory.

The next executive director will need to focus on Anadarko’s unique blend of Native American and frontier history by bringing the tribes and the business community together, Corn said.

“We would like to see it (city) turn into what it once was. We would be happy to see that kind of revival,” the city manager said. “It will be a challenge for whoever we select. It will have to be someone who has the ability to bring fresh ideas and build something. If they have that, this job is for them.”

As long as they meet the experience requirements, the committee is not opposed to candidates from other communities. Corn mentioned outsiders may offer a new perspective on how to help the chamber grow.

“Sometimes, a person from the outside is better and can breathe more life into it ( job). Sometimes, people who are from the area get complacent,” the city manager said. 

He is also hoping to fill a part-time position (30 hours per week) for the Anadarko Heritage Museum, located at 311 E. Main Street.

Housed in Anadarko’s old Rock Island Depot, the museum features historic information on Native American, European and African descendants who settled in the Caddo County area as well as railroad memorabilia, Native American artifacts, American military artifacts from World War I and WW II and a historic photo archive.

The museum is open Thursday through Saturday each week. The successful candidate would be responsible for developing new ideas and displays for the museum.