BobbiJo Beers is the Director of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, and locals around town swear that the town has more positive energy since she took the position.
“A lot of people were happy I got the job because the community already knew I put so much passion in everything I do,” Beers said.
Beers has served the community in many different capacities since she moved to town 12 years ago. She first joined Newcomers, moved on to the Mom’s Club,and has been actively involved in the Village Pre-school, even though she no longer has any children in the program. She is also involved in Girl Scouts.
“It has been my goal to unite the community and build relationships between the businesses, the community, the town and the schools. Every event has to fit that goal and the Chamber’s Board supports that,” Beers said, sipping a bowl of chicken soup at Jacqueline’s Restaurant. “I think the way we do this is different than other Chambers.”
Beers believes that in order to strengthen business you must include the community. “The town doesn’t have the manpower to put together festivals, it has to be outsourced, like the Sidewalk Sales. But it is easier to make it work when you have a good relationship with the town. We are willing to do the work with St. Mary’s, the tree lighting, the Scotty Fund. We should be using the festival to make business better in town. If we know there is a festival, then we should plan town events on the same day. Then we can start to market events to outside communities, which are a bigger draw.”
Uniting the community is important to Beers, because, she said, it is the process of becoming a village. “If you have people working together, you will have a stronger community that people will want to visit, open businesses in, and will want to live here,” Beers said.
First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker called Beers a dynamo. “She’s breathed new life into the Chamber of Commerce. She has terrific marketing ideas for building business in Bethel. We don’t plan an event and neither does she, without working together to make it better.”