Chamber director moving to a new job in NOLA

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Next month the executive director of the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce will be taking a new job.
Nuria Reyes-Arias, a New Orleans native, took the helm of the local Chamber in January of last year, bringing years of experience in the non-profit world to the local Chamber.
When asked about her new employer, Arias said only that she would take the position of director of development for an international non-profit organization that leads an international baccalaureate program at the high school level. Arias said the organization works with inner city children.
Byron Hill, a Chamber Board member, said Arias is taking the new job so she can be closer to her children, who attend school in the New Orleans area. While working for the Chamber, she only saw her daughters on the weekends.
Even though Arias will no longer be the executive director, she has agreed to continue to serve the Chamber by working on the Programs Committee, Hill said.
Hill praised her for her work in getting the Chamber’s 501(c)(6) status back, which was lost in 2015, organizing a successful golf tournament and increasing the Chamber’s membership by 40 percent.
Kristen Black, the executive administrative assistant at Silver Slipper Casino, said Arias was the reason the casino joined the Chamber. Hill said Arias was also able to add the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation to the membership roster.
Under Arias’ leadership, Hill said the Chamber’s participation in Capitol Day, where local leaders lobby in Washington D.C., reached a new level.
Arias said she learned a lot during her time with the Chamber, most of all a respect and admiration for the people of Picayune. She said this area has a lot of untapped resources.
She also said she will miss the staff at the Chamber, including Sarah Costillo, the Chamber’s events coordinator, whom Arias said is a prime example of the youth in Pearl River County.
Arias’ last day will be Feb. 17.

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