REED CITY -- The Reed City Chamber of Commerce has elected Chris Ems as the new Executive Director in a part-time role, according to a news release Feb. 24.

"I am excited about this new role," Ems said. "I've been an active community member for a long time, coaching and as an insurance agent. I'm excited about the new direction of the chamber."

Former chamber director Kim O'Neil announced her departure in December, saying the challenges of funding a full-time director were a key reason for leaving.

"When the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) ended its operations, it tightened the chamber's budget substantially because they were a key funding tool for the chamber," O'Neil said at the time.

The chamber has recently restructured in a way that will benefit the community, city and chamber members throughout the area, the news release said. They are now in a better position for growth and plan to continue to be a resource for both the members and the community.

"We hope to become more involved in the community through the organization of additional community events," Ems said. "We plan to become more involved with the tourism industry. With Reed City being designated as a Michigan Trail Town, we aim to see what the chamber can do to help promote that. In addition, we plan to highlight local business more and focus on what businesses need from us."

"We have some newly appointed people that I think will help us move in the right direction," Ems said.

Additional newly appointed positions include Danielle Quinn as vice president, Trevor Mund as treasurer and Laura Mumby as trustee.

The chamber's mission will continue to be to help business, industry and tourism prosper, in order to stimulate economic growth and improve the quality of life for residents, the news release said.

The chamber office is in the Reed City Depot, 200 Chestnut St., Reed City. For questions or information, email or call (231) 832-5431.