The executive board of the Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce announced Sept. 14 that it has hired Paisley Howerton as chief executive officer of the chamber of commerce.

“I see the importance in putting time and energy back into the community, and I want to see the existing businesses in Ark City thrive while exploring any possibilities for bringing new business in,” Howerton said in an interview Sept. 13. “I’m excited and ready for this new adventure.”

She brings years of experience in working with the public and local business owners to the position, including two stints working as an advertising assistant and advertising consultant for The Arkansas City Traveler and now The Cowley CourierTraveler.

“In my position at the CourierTraveler, I work(ed) closely with business owners, providing them with options for advertising, and have been able to build many great relationships,” Howerton said.

“I believe my experience there sets a great foundation for my position at the Arkansas City (Area) Chamber of Commerce.”

Howerton also is a member of the Young Professionals of Cowley County board, the City of Arkansas City’s Beautification and Tree Advisory Board, and the Fifth Thursday Art and Music Crawl committee, of which she has served as chair for the past two years.

Howerton family

Howerton lives just south of Ark City with her husband, Josh, and their two daughters, Emma and Ophelia.

“We try to include them in as many community events as we can (to) teach them the importance of being involved in volunteering,” Paisley said.

In 2017, the family was presented with the city’s Good Neighbor Award for their efforts in cleaning up local parks and wildlife areas.

Howerton has lived in this area for most of her life. “My parents were a bit nomadic, and we did move away a few different times,” she said.

“But like a lot of people do, we always found our way back.”

Howerton is an entrepreneur, too. She is co-owner and operator of Wild Ivy Natural Products, as well as a vendor at the Farm and Art Market.

Starting at the chamber

Howerton’s first day at the chamber will be September 24.

“I’m looking forward to continuing on with some of the great events and benefits that have been established, and also plan to brainstorm about what can be added to the value of being a chamber member,” Howerton said.

“I’m excited to further my relationship with the local business owners and to be able to work with them on a different level.”

In her first week, Howerton intends to spend most of her time settling into her new role as chamber director.

“I will take some time (before) adding anything new in, as we are heading into a pretty busy season for Arkansas City,” she said.

“I also want to take some time to hear the opinions of the membership and see how they feel about their membership, and what, if anything, they’d like to see change.”