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Ferndale Chamber of Commerce selects new executive director

Woodward Talk | Published May 10, 2016




FERNDALE — The Ferndale Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director who hopes to reach out to the people and businesses of the city.

Kim Hart was appointed to the position on April 11, where she replaced Ashleigh Laabs, who left the position in October 2015, and Carol Jackson, who had served in the interim.

A University of Michigan-Dearborn graduate, Hart has worked at Detroit Country Day School and the Drayton Avenue Cooperative Preschool.

She has experience in fundraising and event planning.

“It’s been great,” she said of her job so far. “It’s just meeting a lot of people in the community, staying positive, listening to other people’s dreams.

“When I talk to new businesses that come, I really like listening to their stories and kind of going back and forth with ideas when they’re signing (up) for membership. I really like where they’re moving with their business and (what) their visions are.”

With her job, Hart said she wants to bring together the community and network so that the right people are talking to each other so all of their businesses can flourish.

“That’s what I like to do,” she said. “I’ve tried to make the atmosphere as comfortable for them as possible, and try to do what they want us to do. If they need any type of advertising, if they need any type of service, we’re here for them.”

Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Jay McMillan said the board loved how Hart was very involved with the community, as well as how she has lived in Ferndale since 2003.

“It was not a deal breaker,” he said of whether a candidate had to live in Ferndale or not. “It’s nice that she lives, she works in Ferndale.”
McMillan said Hart’s biggest asset that will benefit her as executive director is her ability to reach out and talk to prospective members of the chamber.

Right now, Hart said she’s focusing on events like the Rainbow Run and Ferndale Pride. She hopes soon to get out and meet more members of the business community, and see what they want from the chamber and what the chamber can do for them.

“We have a lot of members,” she said. “We have a lot of members who want to meet other people. I’ve always said the best way is just to reach out and talk and know we’re there for them.”