By Tegan Kraklio
The Wilton Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Brandy Marquez as its new vice president, and she says she’s excited to help the community.
While she did not grow up in Wilton, Marquez has lived and worked in the community since 1998. Her husband also works in Wilton, and together they are raising three children in the community, as well. In the first three months of her time with the chamber, she’s already bringing new ideas as a way of building onto, while maintaining, customs.
“I think this is a great town,” said Marquez. “I think it’s great that people are willing to work together for a common goal to makes things better in the community. I’m excited to bring new ideas to the table… I want to keep traditions, but also expand and bring in some new things as well. And hopefully, as Wilton grows and we get more businesses, the Chamber can expand also, so we can do more.”
Currently, the Chamber of Commerce provides Wilton with events such as Founders Day, National Honor Society luncheon for seniors, a government official’s luncheon, the Christmas Walk, and a teacher’s welcome luncheon. In addition to community events, Marquez’s job with the Chamber includes running Wilton’s United Way.
“Every year local organizations or clubs request money from the United Way to help them do what they do every year,” said Marquez, emphasizing that the money raised for United Way stayed in the community. “We really do want people to know that this money stays right here in Wilton, and it goes for all of these things that are happening right here.”
In the future, she would like to bring a United Way Day of Caring to Wilton. “Some people don’t even know that Wilton has United Way, so I’d like to change that.”
For Marquez, the most rewarding part of working for the chamber has been talking to businesses and welcoming them to the city.
“Small business aren’t easy to run, especially in a small town,” she said. “So anyway I can help them with their business and help it grow, then that makes me happy.”
Contrastingly, the greatest challenges come with raising money and finding volunteers for the annual events Wilton enjoys. “It takes a lot of people to make things happen, especially Founders Day.”
Marquez follows in the footsteps of Eva Belitz, who retired after 42 years of service.
“I have ideas and I want to make changes, but I also want to keep the integrity of what the chamber has been,” said Marquez. “[Eva] worked really hard for 42 years; it was a big part of her life. So, I want to make her proud, and make her feel good about her retirement.”
Marquez said she wants businesses and the community to know that she will hear any ideas, thoughts of suggestions they have. “I would love feedback.”
You can contact Brandy Marquez at the Wilton Chamber of Commerce at 563-732-2330.
This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.