Ashley Upchurch to start May 15
by Mark Reaman
The Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director. Ashley Upchurch will take the reins from Eliza Cress, who is leaving to pursue further academic studies.
Upchurch has been serving as the chamber’s membership and marketing coordinator. Her focus has been on membership development, as well as member business development and support. In addition, she was involved in a support capacity for the special events segment of the chamber.
Chamber board president Frank Stichter said the board received seven applications for the chamber job once Cress announced her departure. “The seven people consisted of in-community and out-of-community applicants with a variety of skills and professional experience,” Stichter said. “We vetted that number down to the top five applicants with the most appropriate experience to interview with the board of directors. While all of the applicants were strong, Ashley had a chamber background, a history with the community business relations, a strong understanding of what our community has to offer and proven results in membership development and support. This aligned her well with the board’s goals for the executive director moving forward.”
Stichter said the executive director has a multifaceted role in the community. “The chamber has had various structures over the years, but the board of directors felt that the executive director should be the voice and the face of the chamber, as it relates to membership development and support and as a community liaison at council meetings, budget meetings, board meetings and industry events,” Stichter explained. “At the same time, we felt the executive director should take on an oversight role for the special events and hire a special events coordinator to take on the heavy lifting as it relates to the set-up and coordination of these important money-makers for the chamber of commerce.”
The board was sad to see Cress go and Stichter said she did a great job with the chamber’s events in particular. “We would like to thank Eliza Cress for all of her hard work and dedication to the chamber of commerce,” Stichter said. “Eliza began working for the chamber under former executive director David Ochs as an events coordinator and brought our events to another level financially. She was subsequently hired one year ago as the executive director and once again our events have become even more successful and profitable. It is with those mixed feelings that we congratulate Eliza for a job well done, and wish her well in her future endeavors at the Conway School of Landscape Architecture and Design.
Upchurch will officially begin her new duties on May 22.