Jennifer Elkin

What are some of the daily duties of your job with the Chamber and how has that changed over time?
When I was initially hired, it was for the conference side. I ran the logistics of regulatory compliance conferences. Over time, things have been added, including the publications department, legislative services and membership. My daily duties are more focused on making sure the staff has a clear path to success. Also, on the strategic level, I’m in the management of the organization and that’s something I really enjoy.

You’re one of the longest-serving Chamber staff members – how many years have you been here and what makes you want to continue your career with the Chamber?
I’ve been here 21 years. The job has never been the same year after year. The economic environment changes, and there are changes at the political level; we’re always re-inventing our product line to match the needs of our members. This job doesn’t look like what it did three years ago, or 13 years ago or 20 years ago. And we re-develop the strategic plan every three years as well.

You manage the departments that bring in revenue. What’s the importance of the services and advocacy sides working together to benefit Chamber members?
We feel we are the revenue engine to keep the advocacy wheels turning, so they can afford to do the real work that we’ve been proven to do at the Chamber.

I have the very best staff – it’s an interesting group, an eclectic group. They come here with skills and we help them grow and hone those skills. We’ve done a good job of cross-implementing our strategy. This is a team that believes in the mission of the Chamber. That’s key – it’s not just for personal success, they all want the Chamber to be successful.

What are your passions outside of the office?
My three children – 18, 15 and 12 – keep us very busy. My son is in college and the ROTC, and I have a freshman in high school and a sixth grader. We love to travel. We’re a family that works hard so we can play hard.

What is a life lesson that you’ve shared with your children?
One of our sayings is that it takes a family to run a house. But this is something I believe: “faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.” I just want my children to love and be loved, and I think everything else falls into place.

If you could travel to any time period in history (future included), which one would you choose and why?
I would go back to the 1920s. I enjoy watching Downton Abbey (a period drama focusing on the lives of British aristocracy and the house staff). I would go live there and be Lady Mary.

Favorite movie: Mamma Mia!
Favorite food: anything I didn’t have to shop for or prepare
Favorite vacation spot: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Favorite book: the Bible
Favorite quote: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

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