PICKERINGTON – Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce President Theresa Byers said her main job is to promote the businesses that belong to the chamber.
But that one task presents a multitude of duties for her.
“Day to day it’s different,” Byers said. “That’s what makes it fun. Day to day we’re just really trying to connect with our members. Find out what their business challenges are and how we can help them. We spend a lot of our time just connecting people and helping to create those long-lasting relationships to get past those challenges, but also grow their business and continue to be successful.”
Byers said she could work on 15 different projects during the workday.
“I joke with my team here, you’re constantly turning your hat just a quarter to the right because you’re on to the next subject and moving on to the next thing all in the same day,” she said.
Byers has been with the Pickerington chamber for more than six years and has been in the chamber of commerce business for 15 years. She is from Akron and got her start in the business in northeast Ohio.
“I had a friend who worked for a chamber up there who said, ‘Hey, we’re hiring for this position and you need to apply for it,'” Byers said. “I did and I got the job. And 15 years later I’m still plugging away in the chamber industry and learning something new every day.”
She worked for a North Carolina chamber of commerce before returning to Ohio and her current job.
“Pickerington just kind of fell in my lap,” Byers said. “It looked like a great community and something that I could step into and, hopefully, bring some of my skills to the table and help the chamber grow and do some different things. It just kind of happened, and six and a half years later I’m still here.”
Byers said a good chamber of commerce leader must have a passion for the community no matter what that community is and be willing to help the businesses grow.
Byers said the hardest part of her job is getting the message out about what the chamber does and how it can help businesses.
“I think that’s the biggest challenge,” she said. “I honestly do. I think that’s something we battle every single day, just explaining what the chamber does. We’re not going to create business for you. But we can help you build connections in the community that will drive business and help share your story and celebrate your wins and your successes and help spread that word.”
Downtown Pickerington has changed the last few years with a new fire station and a new coffee shop opening in the last few years, for example.
“The village of Pickerington is just unique,” Byers said. “It’s vibrant and continuing to grow. I think there’s just even more opportunity for business to grow down here. We’ve got a great business incubator down here that is looking to help businesses get started and grow. It’s a great little downtown.”
She said downtown gets especially busy during parades and when the Pickerington Central football team is playing at home.
“But it’s fun,” she said of the busy events. “They get people down here and get people to see parts of Pickerington they may not normally travel through.”
Away from work, Byers is a trainer at Title Boxing Club where she teaches a couple o weekly classes.
“Fitness is probably one of my biggest passions,” she said. “I spend a lot of time at Title Boxing doing a lot of workouts there.”
She also enjoys golf, the outdoors and spending time with family and friends. She is married to husband, Jon, and is the mother of a college-age son.