Breckenridge Texan

Yuri Huntington to bring extensive work, volunteer experience to Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce’s director position

Yuri Huntington to bring extensive work, volunteer experience to Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce’s director position
September 27
12:01 2022

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

The Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce announced on Monday that Yuri Huntington will be the new Executive Director of the organization, beginning Monday, Oct. 3.

Although Huntington will be new to the Executive Director position, she has been involved with the Chamber of Commerce currently and in the past, serving on the board since 2019. With the acceptance of the new job, she is stepping down from the position of Incoming President on the Chamber’s board, a position that Interim Executive Director Rhonda Rogers-Crawford will fill in 2023.

Yuri Huntington will begin her new job as the Executive Director of the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 3. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Additionally, Huntington serves on several other organizations’ boards, including Dr. Goodall’s House, Virginia’s House Family Resource Center, Encounter Ministries, Affirming Texas Families Services, and the Rotary Club. In addition to being a member of the local Rotary Club, she is also the Assistant District Governor and was president of the Breckenridge chapter in 2020-21.

Currently, Huntington is an employment specialist for Betty Hardwick Center in Abilene. As she has been preparing to transition to the new Chamber job, she said, the Betty Hardwick Center has allowed her to spend Tuesdays in Breckenridge. Previously, she has been a life coach with Save The Storks, working remotely with the company in Colorado Springs, Colorado; office manager and client advocate for The Open Door in Breckenridge; and, youth director for New Life Restoration Church in Breckenridge.

The Chamber’s position has been vacant since June when Colton Buckley resigned from his position as executive director of Breckenridge Become, which includes the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce, Breckenridge Economic Development Corp., Breckenridge Industrial Foundation and the Breckenridge Improvement Council, to be the national executive director of the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils. Buckley came to Breckenridge in April 2021 and in March of this year announced the strategic alignment of the four community entities, along with the collective decision for him to serve as the Executive Director of all four under the Breckenridge Become umbrella. After he left, former Chamber director Rhonda Rogers-Crawford was named the Interim Executive Director and the Chamber board decided to return to having its own Executive Director.

After attending last week’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Little Caesars Express restaurant, Huntington said she is excited to begin the Executive Director job and is already working with Rogers-Crawford in planning the Chamber’s upcoming events, such as Mingle and Jingle, scheduled for Nov. 18.

“I’m excited to do the events,” Huntington said. “And I want to be able to mirror what’s been done in the past, but also I want to … find out information by those who have been either volunteers or the businesses that have done it in the past. I want to hear what they have to say and how they felt about it, how it was last year and what they want to see more of this year. So I want to gauge it by doing those types of things and talking to the community or the members from the chamber, asking them questions.

Huntington said she intends to actively seek input from the Chamber of Commerce’s members, finding out what events and activities they enjoy, what they want to see more of from the Chamber, etc. “That’s what I think this role is as an executive director — serving my community and hearing the voices of the businesses and just being a servant leader for them.” she said. “…it’s about networking, it’s about relationships, and it’s about … bringing life into the community. And in order to bring life into the community, we’ve got to find out where people are and what they desire to see in the community. And then it all falls back down to serving the community, serving the businesses of the chamber.”

One of the things that Huntington said she will bring to the Executive Director position is experience as a board member of the Chamber, as well as several other organizations.

“As a board member transitioning into an ED position, I have the ears and eyes of a board member, and so I kind of am able to have that side of it, too, and know … the backgrounds of things,” she said. “So I think that really helps me with the relationship-building with the board. And also as an executive director, I feel like it’s my responsibility to hear my board members, as well, to hear if they know what their role is and if there’s something that they feel like they want to do more of or what’s their expertise.”

Another role of her job as Executive Director will be to organize volunteers to assist the Board of Directors with Chamber events and activities, Huntington said. “I know all of us have busy lives. And so my goal also, as an executive director, is to find volunteers,” she said. “I appreciate what the board does, and I want to find volunteers in the community that are willing to come in and be part of it.”

After accepting the Chamber job, Huntington said, she found many people don’t know exactly what the Chamber does. So, she’s working on a brief explanation.

“I’m still fine tuning that because there is so much, but in a nutshell, the Chamber cultivates community and brings together businesses and relationship building,” Huntington said.

 

Cutline, top photo: As the new Executive Director of the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce, Yuri Huntington will bring a variety of experience to the job, such as serving as a member and board member for several organizations, including the Chamber. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


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