Arias planning for future of the chamber
Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 21, 2016
Monday, new leadership has moved into the office of the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce, her name is Nuria Arias.
Originally from New Orleans, Arias has been a Pearl River County resident for the past 14 years. She and her husband, Oscar, have two daughters, 18-year-old Mary who is attending college at Loyola University seeking a degree in English Literature and 14-year-old Camila, who currently attends the Academy of Sacred Heart.
Her background in working with non-profit organizations is extensive. She’s worked in many countries, such as China where she helped out after the recent major earthquake, in Latin America where she helped with the HDTV Plus transition and in Brazil where she helped with workforce development. She’s also been to Kenya and Ethiopia where she helped create opportunities for young people to become engaged in civic opportunities and helped give them the skills they need to join the workforce.
“All of these experiences have given me a global view,” Arias said.
While she agrees that Picayune should keep the small town feel, she feels the city can’t prosper through isolation; instead opportunities need to be created for the current and future workforce.
In her new role as executive director of the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce, her goal will be to solidify what Picayune and the surrounding communities already have by ensuring the existing movers and shakers are well supported.
A long-term goal is to establish a community center somewhere in Picayune, possibly through grant funding. Through this community center, young people could find opportunities through workshops or even classes.
By utilizing the nationally accredited Chamber model, not only does she aim to move the chamber forward, Arias said she also plans to have the local chamber accredited.
Chamber Executive Board of Directors President Beth Lenoir is looking forward to what Arias’ experiences will bring to Picayune as she takes on her new role.
Arias said she chose to apply for the position after her children enticed her to find some way to provide resources for local young people to succeed, but also entice those young people to utilize their skills in Pearl River County and the region.
Lenoir said this area is full of talent, and by encouraging the youth they will be more likely to achieve their goals. One of the ways Arias plans to do that is through the formation of an education committee.
In an effort to better promote chamber members, Arias has plans to revamp the website so users can not only see a list of members, but also find out what services they provide and even provide reviews. Lenoir feels such a change to the website would provide added value to chamber members.