Podhajsky elected President of Traer Chamber of Commerce

Michelle Podhajsky

Michelle Podhajsky was elected President of the Traer Chamber of Commerce during their January meeting to fill the vacant position and is ready to hit the ground running in her new role.

“I believe in the mission of Traer’s Chamber of Commerce – to strengthen the local economy by promoting a favorable business climate, encouraging cooperative efforts and stimulating growth and development in our city – and I know that Traer is a strong, hard-working community that continues to keep a foothold on small-town life” Podhajsky said. “I am honored to serve as president of the Traer Chamber of Commerce and I look forward to making 2020 a ROARING 20s success.”

Podhajsky, owner of Chick Studios, initially came into contact with the Traer Chamber to assist in advertising, design and social media projects for their events. Then in 2019, the Traer resident was invited to join the Chamber board. She will continue to provide advertising and marketing design work along with the duties of president.

“I hope to bring leadership, organization skills, and new ideas that will directly benefit all the Chamber member businesses,” Podhajsky said. “I’d like to lay the groundwork for programs and projects that will outlast my tenure as Chamber president. I want to encourage input, ideas, and advice from our business community, after all, most of them have either been on the Chamber board or in my position before and have a wealth of experience as to what does and doesn’t work for this organization.”

Podhajsky stated she is committed to getting more businesses involved as Chamber members and in Chamber activities while striving to make this organization the “best promotional vehicle for our local businesses while having as much fun as possible along the way.” In order to accomplish this goal, Podhajsky plans for the Chamber to do the following:

create programs, events, and marketing to promote all our local member businesses

encourage cooperation and cross-promotion between businesses members

educate and inform our local citizens of what businesses are doing

get people from outside Traer to notice and visit our community

entice new businesses to set up shop in Traer

“The 2020 Chamber board will increase its productivity this year by delegating more tasks to our event committees and will set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals for the new decade,” Podhajsky said. “Chamber events tentatively scheduled for this year are Ladies Night Out, Annual Chamber Picnic, Car Show, Halloween Costume Contest, Annual Dinner, Park Lighting, and Holiday Happenings. We will also be working towards more marketing projects to expand Traer’s image to a greater number of people outside the community, and take advantage of Highway 63 and Highway 8 corridors that bring so many people through town on a daily basis.”

The new Chamber President acknowledged her colleagues on the board for their support in electing her. The current board includes Kris Whitmore as Vice President, Ashton Wilson as the past president, Karina Cooper as Treasurer, Teresa McBride as Secretary, Ashley Cizek as Director and Jon Crisman as director.

“Michelle is not only a great asset to the Chamber and our businesses, but this community,” Wilson said. With her professionalism and expertise in advertising she offers something that most can’t”

As a freelance graphic designer for more than 25 years, Podhajsky has taken on projects big and small. She designs websites, branding & identity packages, logos, ads, print materials, signage, apparel, packaging, social media advertising, and “just about everything in between” for business. Her design career began at Kansas City advertising agencies with client projects for American Speedy Printing Centers, UMB Bank, Sonic Drive-Ins, Helzberg Jewelers, and more. After leaving agency life, Podhajsky created Chick Studios. Years later, she moved to Des Moines and in 2016 moved back to her hometown of Traer and married Nick Podhajsky.

For more information or to join the Traer Chamber of Commerce, go to www.traer.com/chamber-of-commerce

Michelle Podhajsky, newly elected President of the Traer Chamber of Commerce. Photo submitted.