Originally published Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 05:56a.m.

Lorette Brashear, the newest Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce director, says she’s in the job of her dreams.

“Not everybody gets that opportunity,” Brashear said. “I feel like half the time, ‘pinch me, am I supposed to be here?’ but it truly is an opportunity for me and it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”

She started Monday, May 14.

It’s a position she’s wanted for a couple years now, she said. At one point, she worked at the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce, which is where she fell in love with chamber work, Brashear said. Further, as a Chino Valley Lioness, she’s always felt connected with the community so it was a natural fit, she said.

Brashear replaces John Coomer as the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce director. Coomer was the chamber’s interim director following the departure of Arlene Alen, who resigned in January to take the role of executive director at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in Port Townsend, Washington. Coomer is currently the Economic Development director for the Town of Chino Valley.

Having Coomer as the interim director and in the position he’s in now is perfect, Brashear said.

“With him being here, he got the knowledge of what exactly I do and then now he’s doing his new position,” she said. “We’re able to merge them really well together, work together. We’re working with the town really well, our board is fantastic, they’ve all been so welcoming.”

Brashear said she’s making the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce her own as an outside-the-box thinker, noting her favorite quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson, about going where there is no path and forging a trail.

What she brings to the table are fresh, new and young ideas and wants to start doing different types of mixers, breakfasts and morning mixers, lunch and learns were she brings in public speakers to educate the community and help them grow in their business, and partnerships with more people in the community, she said.

The recent Wine Bites, and Brew event was hers and she wants to bring in more of those kinds of events, Brashear added.

Seeing herself as filling a need and trying to connect dots for people, Brashear said one of her biggest strengths is believing in having a spider web.

“The bigger your spider web is, the more you can help people, the more I can network and help people,” she said. “That’s what makes us valuable so when they come into me and say ‘I’d like to join the chamber, what can you do for me?’ Well this is your business, I can connect you with this person, this person and this person and help them with ideas they probably never thought of.”

The next big event is the Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 18, Brashear said. Right now though, she’s revamping the Chamber office and has added a waiting room, she said. The hope is that when people come to the next mixer on Saturday, June 16, they’ll see the Chamber of Commerce has changed and has a feeling of warmth and fun, Brashear said.

Brashear said she hopes that by getting to know her, people will see her personality and like what she’s doing for the community.

“I have high expectations for this community and what I want out of it and I have high expectations on myself too,” she said. “I want to make sure I put 120 percent into it for everybody.”