Person of the Week
Christa Maynard: At the Center of Chamber Action
Christa Maynard is the new member services manager for the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce. (Photo courtesy of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce)
Promoting the places to be and things to do in Old Saybrook is nothing new for Christa Maynard. Now, however, in her role as the member services manager for the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce, Christa gets to help promote the town as her job.
Last month, Christa began her role with the chamber, where she says, “We do a little bit of everything here.”
In her role as member services manager, Christa is the go-to person for businesses when they have questions for the chamber or need help figuring something out.
“I’m the direct contact from businesses to the chamber. I pick up first whenever someone is calling,” she says.
Christa explains this could be simply answering a question like recommending a restaurant to a curious caller or teaching a business owner how to use the chamber website to announce an event like an upcoming sale or fair.
Additionally, Christa also gets to work on the different events sponsored by the chamber, which she says she really enjoys. One event going on currently is the Scarecrow Fest where scarecrows are decorated and placed at different locations around town. Voters can choose what scarecrow they like the best and text the ID to 877-940-3266 through Wednesday, Oct. 27. The winning scarecrow receives a prize.
As for future events, Christa says that the chamber and town are trying to collaborate for a holiday festival.
“We’re trying to put together something for the holidays, but we have nothing set in stone yet,” she says.
And of course, there’s the 25th annual Chili Fest.
“I think I almost love that event more than Christmas,” Christa says with laugh.
So far, no dates have been set in stone, but Christa says that there have been some ideas kicked around.
“Hopefully we can hold it like normal this year and because it’s the 25th year I think we’re going to do some different surprises,” says Christa.
A full rundown on upcoming chamber events can be found on the chamber website www.oldsaybrookchamber.com.
Christa had been working tangentially with the chamber for a few years and came to really appreciate the chamber and the work it does.
“I fell in love with the chamber and I really wanted to support Old Saybrook,” Christa says.
Christa says as soon as the opening for a position with the chamber was posted, she applied and she’s happy she did so.
“I’ve dreamed of working for them for years before I got this job. I love Old Saybrook so much and want to promote it in every way I can. It’s more than just a job to me,” says Christa.
Prior to her job at the chamber, Christa helped start 30 Mile Brewing Company in Old Saybrook. Prior to that she also worked as a wedding planner and Christa says that both roles have served her well in her current career.
“I loved being a part of the chamber and going to the networking events and getting to know people,” says Christa.
In particular, she singles out the chamber’s PLOT program as being helpful. PLOT stands for Progressive Leaders of Today and is meant for young business people to network.
As for her past as a wedding planner, Christa says it prepared her to “fix any problem. I utilize everything we have at the chamber.”
Asked for her favorite part so far of working with the chamber Christa says, “I like it all. This is why it I was the perfect fit for me.
“I also love [Chamber Executive Director] Judy Sullivan and she’s a reason I like the chamber so much, too.” she adds.
As for the hardest part, Christa says she always shoots for 100 percent participation in chamber events, which can be hard especially as businesses struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christa grew up in Massachusetts but was a regular visitor to Old Saybrook in her youth.
“I summered here since I was in middle school. We’d come up almost every weekend, too, even when I was in high school,” Christa says.
About 15 years ago, Christa became a fulltime resident.
“I just love the area,” she says. “Old Saybrook is fantastic.”
As a parent to young children, Christa says that part of her motivation for working with the chamber is making sure her young kids can enjoy the town the same way she was able to.
“l love Old Saybrook and want it to be as wonderful as it is forever,” says Christa.
In her spare time, Christa enjoys spending time with her two kids watching them play soccer.
“Saturdays watching their games back-to-back is my favorite,” says Christa.
She also enjoys hiking in the trails offered around town and checking out the other activities offered in town.
“And who doesn’t love the beach in the summer?!” she adds.