Portales native Karl Terry is the new executive director at the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.
Terry, former Portales News-Tribune managing editor, officially starts work Monday, although outgoing director Sharon King is expected to stay on until the end of February.
“Out of all the candidates, Karl had the most overall experience, and he had a lot of good qualities we were looking for,” said chamber board President Chris Wood.
Terry has been a member, board member or president and interim executive director at various chambers of commerce in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado.
“We’re excited to have him on board,” Wood said, adding he thought Terry would come with lots of new ideas.
Wood said he was excited to chose someone local and familiar with the town and businesses.
Terry said he was thrilled to be the executive director at the chamber of commerce in his hometown. He believes it’s important to give back to the community and sees the job as a way to do so.
As a first step, Terry intends to talk with the board members and learn their plans. He said he believes their goal is a vibrant, growing membership.
“That’s going to be pretty high on my list, is to make sure the chamber is growing and that my office is receptive to the needs of the members,” Terry continued.
Terry plans to take a “hands-on” approach, visiting businesses to understand their needs and concerns and move forward. He would also like to visit businesses that haven’t become members, something to which he believes his experience as an ad salesman lends itself.
“I think Portales as a whole is strong and growing, and I think we need to make sure the chamber is strong and growing as well,” Terry said.
Terry’s salary will be within the $30,000 to $35,000 range advertised in the job announcement, he said.
The opportunity to be involved in the community was the primary factor that Terry said drew him to apply for the job.
“There’s a lot of things I could do to put bread on the table, but being able to do that and stay involved in the community is very important to me,” he said.