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, grew up in Owen County where she worked behind the scenes from a very young age volunteering her time at local events, churches and food banks. As and adult her heart has always been to serve others and to make the community she holds dear a better place to live and grow. She and her husband James have been married for 12 years and share three beautiful children together. Sarah and her family enjoy serving and connecting with the community that has been such a large part of their lives. Sarah is honored to have the opportunity to serve Owen County and wishes to make a difference in her home town.
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 pleased to call it "Home." Kaitlen enjoys giving back to the community. She began her career with the Owen County Family YMCA as the Youth Dance, Gymnastics, and Cheer Coordinator. This position allows her to work directly with the community and its families. She is excited to take on this 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.