Jim Cowan

At a recent meeting out of town, I was talking with someone from the State Department of Commerce. He lives in the Pauls Valley area and travels all over Southwest Oklahoma to meet with Economic Developers. I asked if the extensive travel was difficult on him and he told me that he loved it because he spent a lot of time listening to Podcasts. The more I inquired with business associates and friends, the more I learned that Podcasts are in fact really popular. I listen to a few, but from my unscientific research I found out that Podcasts are much more popular than what I thought. 

Cassie Poole is the Chamber Marketing Director and first started the Chamber Podcast in 2021. She handles all the behind the scenes planning as well as the production to ensure sound quality. Over the past year and a half, subscribers to the Chamber Podcasts have grown steadily. Just last week, the Chickasha Chambers’ Podcast won a State Chamber Award. She believed in something, tried it despite some skepticism and now is recognized for it. 

Whitney Palesano joined the Chamber staff in 2021 as the Festival of Light and Tourism Director. After an extremely successful holidays season last year, she moved to Membership Director to start this year. Under Whitney’s leadership, she implemented several new ideas that have been very successful this year. One of them was to collaborate with Oh18 on producing the Chamber guide.  That Chamber guide was also recognized last week at the State Chamber conference, again rewarding a new way of doing things.

 Sometimes new ideas work, sometimes they don’t but if you want to grow your Community you have to be willing to try. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different doesn’t work. Sitting around and talking about trying something, but never taking action on the ideas also doesn’t create any positive change. Trying new ideas can be rewarding, even when we face criticism.

The Chickasha EDC and Chamber are trying some new ideas and many of them are working. As we make our plans for 2023, we look back on each idea to evaluate which ones work, which ones don’t and which ones that just need some changes. Josh and Zach tried a new idea several years ago and because of their efforts,  Chickasha now hosts the Oklahoma Food Truck Championship. Change can be painful to some, but we shouldn’t let fear of criticism prevent us from trying to improve our Community. I think it was Abe Lincoln that said “If you want to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.” Congrats to Cassie and Whitney for their new ideas and showing all of Oklahoma about all #TheGoodStuff we have here in Chickasha.

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