Waterville Region welcomes Joe Collie as Chamber Director



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Joe Collie begins his new role as Executive Director of the Waterville Region Chamber of Commerce. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
January 04, 2011
WATERVILLE VALLEY—Radio fans will recognize the name, and certainly the distinctive voice, of the new Executive Director of the Waterville Valley Region Chamber of Commerce (WVRCC), but his is still a fresh face on the local business scene.

After a highly successful 15-year career in local broadcasting, Joe Collie is making the transition to his new role at the Chamber, and is wasting no time digging in to move forward on a number of important projects. But that is no surprise.

Collie has been recognized as a "mover and a shaker" for many years. In addition to being named one of the "40 Under 40" making a difference in New Hampshire by the Union Leader and Business and Industry Association, he has earned no less than 26 broadcasting awards from the Association of Broadcasters and the Associated Press for news and sports coverage during his radio days. He has already reached out to establish partnership relationships with his former colleagues at WLNH, The River, 105.7, and the Planet (in Plymouth) to expand on-air advertising and marketing opportunities for the Chamber.

In addition, his deep involvement with the Laconia Kiwannis Club, where he served as President for two years, has broadened his commitment to community service.

Collie says he has been very fortunate in his career, and hopes his success during his broadcasting will carry over into his duties at the Chamber. His "people skills," communication skills, and a special affinity for online and Internet marketing are sure to serve him well in his new role.

The self proclaimed "Facebook addict" says he is eager to reinvigorate the Chamber's Facebook page and continue to expand the Chamber's utilization of its Web site. He has hit the ground running, immediately sending out informative and timely e-mail alerts to Chamber members about upcoming events and happenings in the Waterville region.

Collie is very excited about his new job.

"I've inherited a great situation here, not only because of the great work that (former Executive Director) Chris Bolan has done in this position over the last 12 years, but also because there is so much excitement in the area with the new owners up at the Mountain (The Sununu family at Waterville Valley)," said Collie. "Also, we have a great Visitor's Information Center (VIC). Some chambers do great work in the local business community, but don't necessarily have the benefit of a VIC like this one. It is a tremendous asset. It is very convenient, right off the highway. It is the arrival point for Waterville Valley. It is a hub and a gateway to the White Mountains, and so many people stop off here for information about local attractions and amenities."

Collie says his biggest surprise in the job is just exactly how busy the Visitor Information Center has been since he started in December. He has been told that an estimated 60,000 visitors stop off at the Center in the course of a calendar year; from locals and seasonal residents wanting Fish and Game licenses and snowmobile registrations to travelers needing to find a restroom, the VIC is a very busy place.

Collie says that given the amount of traffic coming through, the benefit of being able to advertise your local business at the Center is one of the greatest advantages of being a Chamber member.

"Membership has its advantages," says Collie, clearly already a seasoned sales person. But managing the Visitors Center, open during the winter from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday through Monday, and all week during the Massachusetts and New Hampshire vacation weeks in February, is only one of his important responsibilities.

He is already hard at work on the upcoming B.A.S.H. (Business After Scheduled Hours), to take place on Feb. 3 at the Common Man Inn and Spa in Plymouth. The event will be a great opportunity for locals to meet Collie (if they haven't already) and network with their colleagues from around the region. There will be a drawing for the "Supercash Raffle," a limited number of tickets available at the WVRCC Visitor's Info Center, and a host of door prizes, as well.

When not in the Visitor's Center, Collie has been on the road, visiting Chamber members in Campton, Thornton, Plymouth and Waterville Valley and promoting the Chamber's Hometown Guidebook, which will be published in March. The deadline is approaching for inclusion in the Guidebook, which features a director of local businesses and information on local services and attractions. The chamber expects to publish 12,000 copies of the guidebook and direct mail them to more than 5,000 residents and businesses in the region, as well as distribute them at many public locations.

In addition to all these activities, Collie says he will also work to serve as an accurate and objective "vehicle of information" for chamber members about the controversial Northern Pass project, for electrical transmission lines coming through the area. He is also organizing a contingent of local business community members planning to attend "Small Business Day" at the New Hampshire State House on Feb. 1 in Concord.

As if that were not enough to keep him busy, the ambitious, up and coming professional business leader and his wife are expecting their third child in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and by the way, you can still catch him on air from time to time on 95.7, WZID, out of Manchester (usually on the weekends).

Collie says he hopes folks will stop by the Visitor Information Center to say hello, and he looks forward to meeting everyone over the course of the next few months.

More information on the Waterville Regional Chamber of Commerce can be found online at www.watervillevalleyregion.com or by calling the Visitor's Information Center at 726-3804, or by stopping off at the VIC, located at 12 Vintinner Rd., just off I-93 and Route 49 in Campton.

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