The Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce board of directors announced Tuesday that the chamber will have a new executive director beginning Sept. 30.
Linda Erickson, the chamber’s past president, will become the new executive director.
The current executive director, Mary Lou Chavez, will continue to promote business in Belen as the director of the Belen/Valencia County Economic Development Corporation, which will be housed at the Belen Chamber office at 712 Dalies Avenue.
“Mary Lou has been doing both economic development and chamber business. Both areas have gotten so busy, the board and Mary Lou decided it was time to separate the two tasks,” said Erickson, who was selected from 20 applicants.
“I like being active in the community were I live,” said Erickson, currently employed by New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranches. “I’m excited about this new opportunity. I’m drawn to the business community and how it can influence the community in a positive manner.”
Erickson has been a business owner and understands the type of support business owners need from a chamber of commerce.
“Before moving to New Mexico to work for the Boys Ranch 15 years ago, I owned a beauty salon twice, and my husband, Butch, and I owned a restaurant while living in Minnesota,” she said.
She has been a member of the Belen Chamber since 1995 and served on the board until accepting this appointment.
While president, she led the chamber in re-organizing into councils for various types of businesses.
“I’m still a proponent of councils,” she said, “because you are involving every sector of the business community in decisions.”
She said she wants to continue developing the chamber into a vital part of the business community.
“The chamber is a strong community resource. I want to coordinate efforts in the community, so we don’t waste energy by duplicating our efforts,” Erickson said of one of her plans.