Four Flags Chamber hires new president/CEOPublished 5:48pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tyanna Weller, former executive director of St. Joseph Today, will take over as president and CEO of the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce for Ron Sather, who retires June 30.
Weller accepted the job Monday evening and is expected to start June 24.
“I am very excited to be able to become part of the community and to help in any way necessary,” Weller said. “My first goal will be determining exactly where we are and what goals we have as an organization. Then I’ll come up with strategies for getting us there.”
Weller worked as the executive director of St. Joseph Today from 2007 to January 2012. She included with her resume around 70 signatures from merchants and business people who approved of her time at St. Joseph Today.
Since then, she’s been the director of marketing for Jollay Orchards in Coloma and, most recently, a sales consultant for Signature Automotive Group in Benton Harbor.
Weller said she is looking forward to getting started.
“I enjoy helping businesses grow, and I love helping a community grow — getting everybody to work together in a collaboration toward success,” she said.
Weller grew up in Benton Harbor and graduated from Lake Michigan Catholic in St. Joseph before earning a degree in human growth and development from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Weller has several ties to Niles.
Her grandfather, Rex Weller, built and ran Skate-A-Rama in Niles with the help of the family until the early 1980s. Tyanna’s father, Michael Weller, graduated from Niles High School.
Tyanna also served as the director of sales for Beacon Services, managing offices in Niles and St. Joseph from 2003-04.
More than 50 applied for the position. Fifteen were interviewed before the chamber’s executive board chose Tyanna.
“We certainly feel we’ve found somebody that is energetic, motivated and will help bring vitality to the business community,” said Barbara Craig, chamber board chair. “We knew what we wanted, and we had to go with absolutely the best person for the job, the person that had the skill set that will take us to the next level — she was by far the best.”
Tyanna, who lives in St. Joseph, said living outside of Niles wouldn’t affect her ability to do the job.
“I don’t see it is as an issue. I think having a commute time gives you time to think and organize your thoughts for the day on your way in,” she said. “On your way home, you can plan for the next day and try to determine if you actually accomplished your goals, and what goals and priorities you want to set for the next day.”
While having a cup of coffee with Tyanna in St. Joseph Monday, Craig said they were approached by at least 10 people who wanted to say hello to Tyanna.
“She obviously endeared herself or became an integral part of the fabric of the community (in St. Joseph), and I totally expect the same will be true in the Niles community,” Craig said. “I don’t see that (her living outside of Niles) as an impediment to being successful at all.”
Sather has been with the chamber since 1998 and has been president since 2003. He announced his retirement in February.