Tietjen steps in as chamber director
On her second day as the Hebron Chamber of Commerce’s director, Jana Tietjen already had ideas brewing.
Topping the chamber’s future to do list is encouraging travelers to veer off Highway 81 into Hebron.
Tietjen said the chamber was also scheduled to discuss new signage on the highway.
“Another goal is when we are hosting tournaments, we need to figure out how to market to some of those people and encourage them to come and shop,” she said.
The energetic Tietjen is staying focused on Hebron’s current businesses to gather ideas of what merchants want from their chamber of commerce.
“I want to find input from people to improve the chamber and see what we can do to help, how we can collaborate together,” Tietjen explained.
She is looking at the challenge from every side – Tietjen said as a chamber, it’s important to market businesses on social media.
“They can let the chamber know when they have sales and events. We can market to all ages,” she said.
A new website is also in the works and Tietjen is hoping to coordinate a community calendar with the city.
In addition, Tietjen will continue to work with Jeremy Voss, economic development director.
“Jeremy and I have already worked on several projects. I’m excited to work with Jeremy and use his knowledge,” she said, speaking on their projects for Thayer County Health and Communities Coalition.
She worked for the coalition for five years as youth coordinator under a federal grant that paid for staff, but funding ended Jan. 28. There is still money available, however, it will be used for activities, and compliance and sobriety checks.
Tietjen was looking for a part time job when she was encouraged to apply at the chamber.
“I enjoy working with people to promote things,” she said. Tietjen was in on the planning for the state Legion baseball tournament.
This year’s events – Fourth of July, the Christmas Fair and Christmas Stroll have been planned.
“We will be looking at September-October to plan out next year’s events. Community events should be coordinated to promote businesses,” she said.
She added there are a lot of smaller events businesses can do throughout the year, and she will be thinking of suggestions.
Tietjen said she understands business in a small community.
“I understand the value of keeping businesses in town,” she said.
She learned that value through the floral shop her mother owned for 12 years in Courtland, Kan.
The shop started in Tietjen’s bedroom. From there, it expanded into a shop of its own. Tietjen and her mother designed bouquets and presentations for other florists to learn from, and Tietjen went to work for the Kansas Floral Association.
The shop, called The Conversation Piece, reflected Tietjen’s outgoing manner.
“I’ve never been a person to be satisfied with routine. It’s great to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “I like to be involved in making change and get things done,” she said.