St. James native Melissa Coffman has been named director of the St. James Chamber of Commerce.
She succeeds Dawn Thompson, who recently resigned to return to the medical field.
Coffman began work Oct. 7, the Monday before Old Iron Works Days, so she has been busy.
"I wanted to be back in the community – I like to be around people, so it's kind of one of those things that I enjoy doing," said Coffman, who is a 1990 graduate of John F. Hodge High School. "Even when I stayed at home with my kids, I was president of the PTA and all that...."
Former director Jennie Miller, who has been filling in as interim director, has been helping with Coffman's transition.
Coffman, whose husband, Clay, is employed by the City of St. James, is a mother of five, two of whom are juniors at John F. Hodge High School.
Her professional background is in hotel and restaurant management, which she says should be an asset with her present endeavor with the Chamber.
"I would like to see more people out at the events we sponsor," she said. "I think it's a pretty great town, and I am proud to live here. I think it's a special place, and I would like to see more people take advantage of such a thing."
Attracting new businesses, she said, is also on her list of priorities.
"We have a pretty big bare spot with Diana's not being there," she said.