The Owen County Chamber of Commerce is comprised of businessmen and women and private individuals working in partnership to make Owen County a better place in which to live and work.
The vision of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce & EDC shall be to represent the business community in the development of goals and programs, which improve the economic well-being of our citizens and improve and preserve our quality of life.
Our mission is to inform, engage, and connect with our membership and the community through marketing, networking, and education opportunities.
Wagons Forward is the Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development’s Strategic Plan. This plan is designed to affirm the Chambers mission to represent the business community, provide quality tools for the advancement of economic growth, connect and support our members, and improve and preserve our quality of life.
This plan is based on the successful strategy used by pioneers to navigate the difficult trails that led to westward expansion. Embarking on the journey to move out West was a difficult and daunting one to say the least, not unlike a small business navigating through the challenges of the business industry.
Choosing to be a business owner takes fortitude, passion, courage, and a myriad of other characteristics that greatly resemble the qualities of early pioneers. Being a successful business owner takes the same strength, perseverance, and grit that helped develop the West.
The “Wagon Train” concept (working together for the benefit of one another and achievement of common goals) still produces the same result it did years ago: achieving your goals by way of pooling shared resources, networking to gather information, learning from experiences, and working collectively as a community.
The Owen County Chamber of Commerce is unique in that it partners directly with Economic Development to give its members the benefit of having three wagon masters, or three individuals that help them navigate their specific trail. The Executive Director, the Executive Assistant, and the Economic Development Coordinator.
Economic Development focuses more on the “Map” or what is referred to as the long road. Knowing what is five, ten, or fifteen years down the road helps businesses to plan accordingly. Economic Development offers tools like tax abatements, is a liaison between the business owners and local government, and creates an achievable strategic plan for the county and its citizens.
The Chamber of Commerce acts more like the toolbox attached to each wagon train. The Chamber has tools that focus more on the present situation and the “Day’s Journey.” Advertising, networking, promotion, marketing campaigns, and community events are just a few of the ways the Chamber helps each “wagon” to advance through its day’s journey and meet the demand in their industry head-on. Offering an array of resources as well as providing leadership skills help to equip each wagon with the tools they need to be a successful business.
"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."
– Margaret J. Wheatley
Marce King, a lifelong resident of Owen County, became the Executive Director in February of 2019. She had previously been Executive Director of a local non-profit for eleven years. Marce is also the Owen County Bicentennial president as well as a freelance photographer, artist, and graphic designer. She has two children. Her daughter is currently working towards her Master’s degree, and her son is an EMT for Lifeline. Owen County holds a special place in Marce’s heart, and she is thankful for the privilege to serve her Indiana Home.
Sarah Hicks, has called Owen County home her entire life. Her heart has always been to serve the community she loves and holds dear. Working behind the scenes for years, she grew up volunteering her time at local events, churches and food banks where she learned the great importance of serving her community. She and husband James have been married for 10 years and have two beautiful children and are expecting their third at the beginning of the new year. Sarah is honored to have the opportunity to serve Owen County and wishes to make a difference in the place her and her family call home.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Don and Tammy Bingham have been residents of Owen County for 25 years. After college, Don pursued a career in food distribution ultimately becoming the Director of Operations and Purchasing for Beasley Food Service. Excited about the potential for growth of the county, Don accepted the opportunity to become the Owen County Economic Development Coordinator in February 2018. Don and Tammy enjoy connecting with the community through their affiliations with the Farmers Market, theater productions, and other numerous local events.
Kaitlen Allen has been a resident of Owen County her entire life and is so happy to call it "Home." Kaitlen enjoys giving back to the community. She began her career with the Owen County YMCA as a Dance and Gymnastics Coordinator. This position allowed her to work directly with the community and its families. She is excited to begin her new position as Administrative Assistant for the Chamber. She hopes to make a difference in her home town and is excited to have the opportunity to give back to the community that she loves so dearly.
Our Board of Directors
OUR AMAZING BOARD OF DIRECTORS
L TO R: Bill Grandi, Jason Kinney, Kim Hodges, Craig Coffman, Danielle Conner, Grant Minnemeyer, Marcus Robinson