The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce has a full year of new initiatives ahead.
One of those new additions is the incoming President of the Board Kala Maxfield.
“It’ll be a good challenge,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Maxfield is a native of Spring Hill and was introduced to Emporia when she pursued her business administration degree. There, she met her husband Kelly. The two started a family and became increasingly involved in the community. The Maxfields own Rollers, the roller skating rink, and five years ago, Kala Maxfield joined the Chamber of Commerce board.
Maxfield said an outgoing board member recommended she fill the position.
“Somebody threw my name in the hat, so thank you to whoever that was,” she said.
Maxfield was originally a member of the Chamber as the representative for ValuNet Fiber, where she works as the residential marketing manager and in sales. She said her involvement with the Chamber is “a civic duty.”
“I want Emporia to grow,” she said. “I want Emporia to be a better place, because this is home for my family and our friends, and I want to see it successful, also.”
Maxfield said the position makes her feel emotional because of her passion “about Emporia and what it can do.”
“I think I represent a good part of young, new entrepreneurs and upcoming business leaders,” she said. “I would bring to the table ... fresh, new ideas, just a little bit of renewed energy — a lot of energy; I’m very energetic. I’m excited about things.”
Maxfield is excited to continue the momentum of Ignite Emporia. She is open to and enthusiastic about collaborating with community members to discuss any relevant aspect of the ways in which the business community functions. For any questions she does not have the answer to, she said she will do her best to guide someone in the right direction.
Maxfield would like to set some measurable goals and thinks, overall, Emporians would like to see a future of “growth, sustainability [and] work/life balance” for the whole community.
“I think there’s a sense of community pride that our business leaders have, and I don’t think that’s ever going to go away,” she said.
In her position, Maxfield recognizes the probability of not being able to make everyone happy all of the time. She said understanding others’ perspectives is most important, as well as explaining her perspective well.
“A simple conversation can really open up both sides,” she said.
Maxfield will share her enthusiasm with the community on Friday at the 123rd Annual Meeting as she gives a speech, from which the following quotation is excerpted:
“Someone recently asked me if I was going to be a coffee and conversationalist or if I plan to get things done. I thought long and hard about that question, and it’s made me realize that we, as a chamber, and myself as the president of the board, owe you, the business community. We owe you hard work, forward thinking, energy and initiative to get things done.”
The Annual Meeting will take place from 6-9 p.m. Friday in Webb Hall (ESU Memorial Union). Guests can also look forward to the formal recognition of other incoming Chamber of Commerce board members, the Lifetime Achievement Award, Volunteer of the Year Award and Business of the Year Award.
Maxfield said the event is as much of a send-off for immediate past chair Russ Bonitatibus as much as it is a welcoming of incoming board members. Other community leaders will also present year-end reviews and upcoming plans for the year. To contact Maxfield about the Chamber of Commerce, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.