Chamber reorganizes, ends UPS service

by nathan oster

The Greybull Chamber of Commerce used its February meeting to plot a new course for the organization, which last month parted ways with its longtime executive director.

Selena Brown, who is volunteering during this period transition for the organization, said the meeting lasted more than three hours and covered a wide variety of topics, including the election of officers.

Barry Bryant, superintendent of Big Horn County School District No. 3, was elected president, while the board chose Sherri Emmett to serve as vice-president, Hilary Dooley to serve as secretary and Donette Prows to serve as treasurer.

The board also made a difficult decision regarding its affiliation with the United Parcel Service (UPS).  Effective this week, the chamber has ceased serving as a drop-off location for UPS.  The Basin Pharmacy will continue to provide those services, and of course, they can also make arrangements with UPS online, according to Brown.

The biggest problem was that the UPS system wasn’t paying for itself, according to Mayor Bob Graham, who also attended last week’s meeting.  Brown said being a UPS drop-off site also required the chamber to have someone in the building at all times, which prevented that person from attending meetings or visiting local businesses.

“Plus we’re relying more and more on volunteers, and they really don’t want to have to learn the UPS system,” she said.

Board members also agreed last week to take on greater responsibilities in the running of the chamber.  Julie Bilbrey and Bryant will be responsible for bylaws, Brown for the calendar; Bilbrey, Graham and Town Administrator Paul Thur for economic development, Kay Fleek for main street; and Prows and Bilbrey for membership and welcome bags.

Brown said one of the top priorities for the short term is to reopen the museum of flight at the airport.  She said the chamber has been working with WYDOT and Big Horn County to address that goal, which emerged during last year’s community assessment process.

“We believe it could be a very important tourist attraction,” said Brown.

The chamber is still working on refining its hours. Right now the plan is to be open 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, but that’s based on volunteers.

Brown said the board doesn’t have a budget right now for hiring a new director, and that it’s going to try to get by as long as it can with volunteer help.  So far, people have been very willing to help, she said.

The meeting times for the monthly chamber board meetings have also changed.  From this point forward, they will be held on the third Wednesday of the month, at 5:30 p.m., rather than the customary noon start time.  The switch was made to better accommodate business owners, including restaurant owners who have a difficult time getting away at lunchtime.

“We’ll see how it goes,” said Brown. “If a lot of people find it unworkable, we’ll be very open to changing that.  And we encourage  anybody who has ideas or who would like to volunteer to come by.  We’re open for business. We’re here for the town of Greybull and the businesses of Greybull.”

Brown called it “a very positive meeting” and added that the public is invited to attend future board meetings. “Just give us a call beforehand, and if you want to speak, let us know and we’ll put you on the agenda,” she said.

For more on the chamber, visit greybullchamber.com.  Brown said the board hopes to start posting meeting minutes on the site very soon.