WILMINGTON -- When Sharon Cunningham saw an advertisement for the vacant position of Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director, she thought it would be something right up her alley.
"I decided I would look into it and the more I investigated, the more I felt it was going to be a good fit for me," she said, shortly after beginning on Monday morning.
Cunningham had visited the offices down on Main Street in Wilmington before her first day. But currently, she says she is trying to get up to speed with the Vermont Wine and Harvest Festival coming up in September while learning the ins and outs of the chamber and the job itself.
Her goals include continuing with events already established and promoting the valley everywhere. She noted that recent events had exhibited growth. Other goals include enhancing some of the existing events and starting new ones to drive up new business.
Although previous director Adam Grinold went on vacation this week, Cunningham anticipates collaboration often. He left the position in April to become the Wilmington Works downtown organization's first executive director.
Cunningham told the Reformer she wants to see where his vision for the chamber was just before he left and discuss any long-term plans to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Along with the September festival, Cunningham will also be involved in the Mountain Chair Madness auction on Columbus Day Weekend. Big chairs painted by artists were put up around the Deerfield Valley.
"I think we have a total of nine chairs," she said. "We'll be doing an auction on those."
There is also a selfie contest, where people sit in the chairs and take pictures of themselves then send the pictures to the chamber. Some were posted on the chamber's Facebook page.
"There's been some fun selfies from that," said Cunningham, whose experience with sales inspired her to apply for the job.
She previously sold wine and beer and assisted with events all over the East Coast. She is also a valley resident.
Cunningham said she believes the chamber is supposed to advocate for local businesses and the community as a whole. As executive director, one of her goals is to make sure the chamber is driving business growth. She says it is also important to keep both year long residents and visitors happy.
"I'm very good at working with a team and creating a team to get things done," Cunningham added. "I'm one of those people that you tell me what you want and I'll do my best to make sure you feel you're being heard and make sure everything goes in the right direction for everybody."
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.