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Chamber board names new president

August 29, 2018 GMT

The new president of the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce has spent more than a decade serving the local business community.

The chamber announced in a news release Tuesday afternoon to chamber members that Mikki Shafer has been selected as the new president. The chamber’s board of directors approved Shafer for the position in a meeting on Aug. 22.

“I am absolutely ecstatic about it,” she said in an interview after the announcement.

She said she earned a certification in 2013 from a professional development program for chamber officials that gave her qualifications for the president position.

She turns 44 in September.

The news release states Shafer has been with the chamber for 12 years in the membership and events coordinator position and has an in-depth knowledge of how the organization operates.

Shafer has served as interim chamber president since former President Tom Hastings retired at the end of June.

“Her managerial experience, and her knowledge of The Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce, are of great value to our 700-plus members,” the release stated. “Shafer has been instrumental in growing the membership and cultivating business relations with other local and state entities.”

The chamber’s role, she said, is ensuring the entire community is growing.

“It’s not focusing on one part of town, one individual sector of the community,” she said. “It’s making sure everybody is growing and everybody is prospering in the community of Hastings. Obviously, when we’re all doing better it’s just better for Hastings.”

The release also stated Shafer will be the first female president in the organization’s history.

While it’s not uncommon for women to lead chambers of commerce, Shafer said she’s honored to be the first woman to hold that distinction in Hastings.

“In future years I definitely don’t see me being the only one,” she said.

She hasn’t yet identified specific goals for the chamber. That will occur during a planning session in October.

“It’s definitely not something that I want to push my agenda,” she said. “I definitely want to be speaking with our members and seeing where they want us to be going and not pushing my thoughts and views onto the membership. I want to get feedback from everybody and move the direction that everybody feels is the best for the entire membership.”