Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hailey chamber hires new executive director

Express Staff Writer

Julie Oxarango-Ingram began her first full day Monday as the Hailey Chamber of Commerce?s new executive director. Photo by David N. Seelig

The winds of change are blowing through the offices of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce and nowhere can the transition be seen more clearly than in the office of the executive director.

On Monday, the chamber's new executive director, Julie Oxarango-Ingram, began her first official full day on the job. Oxarango-Ingram replaces the chamber's outgoing executive director, Jim Spinelli, who the city of Hailey recently hired as city administrator.

For the past three months, Oxarango-Ingram has been the office manager and executive assistant for the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau. Before that she was the commissioners' assistant for the Blaine County Commission for one year.

To her new job, Oxarango-Ingram brings experience in both community and economic development, she said during an interview Monday.

"They knew I had a passion for it," she said.

Oxarango-Ingram said she didn't initially consider applying for the position in part because of how short a time she had been employed at the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber.

Still, Oxarango-Ingram said she's excited by the prospect of a new challenge. "I'm thrilled that I was asked," she said.

For now, Oxarango-Ingram is busy learning the ropes at her new job and getting to know the chamber's various business members and board members.

"I'm trying to get the lay of the land," she said. "I really want to listen a lot."

Oxarango-Ingram's husband, Mark Ingram, is a magistrate judge in Lincoln County. Their children are enrolled at The Community School in Sun Valley.

For 2007, the Hailey Chamber of Commerce will also be seeking replacements to fill four vacancies on its board of directors. Several of the chamber's officers will be up for election, too.

For its board of directors, the chamber has announced it is seeking broader representation in the following key business areas: retail, restaurant, construction, hotel/motel, professional medical/law and grocery.

Election ballots will be inserted into the chamber's November newsletter. For further information, contact Mike Beck at 788-3006 or

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