#TheGoodStuff: Trying new ideas | Opinion

At a recent out of town meeting, I was speaking with someone from the State Department of Commerce. He lives in the Pauls Valley area and travels throughout southwestern Oklahoma to meet with economic developers. I asked if long trips were difficult for him and he told me he loved it because he spent a lot of time listening to podcasts. The more I inquired with associates and friends, the more I learned that podcasts are in fact very popular. I listen to a few, but from my non-scientific research I found that podcasts are much more popular than I thought.

Cassie Poole is the Chamber’s Marketing Director and launched the Chamber Podcast in 2021. She handles all of the behind-the-scenes planning as well as production to ensure sound quality. Over the past year and a half, the number of subscribers to Chamber podcasts has steadily increased. Just last week, Chickasha Chambers’ podcast won a State Chamber Award. She believed in something, tried it despite some skepticism and is now known for it.

Whitney Palesano joined the Chamber staff in 2021 as Director of the Festival of Light and Tourism. After a hugely successful holiday season last year, she transitioned to Membership Director to start this year. Under Whitney’s guidance, she implemented several new ideas that were very successful this year. One of them was to collaborate with Oh18 on the production of the Chamber guide. This House Guide was also recognized last week at the State House Conference, again rewarding a new way of doing things.

Sometimes new ideas work, sometimes they don’t, but if you want to grow your community, you have to be willing to try. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different doesn’t work. Sitting around and talking about trying something, but never acting on the ideas doesn’t create positive change either. Trying new ideas can be rewarding, even when faced with criticism.

The Chickasha EDC and the Chamber try new ideas and many of them work. As we build our plans for 2023, we’re going back to each idea to assess which ones work, which ones don’t work, and which ones just need a little tweaking. Josh and Zach tried a new idea several years ago and thanks to their efforts, Chickasha is now home to the Oklahoma Food Truck Championship. Change can be painful for some, but we shouldn’t let fear of criticism stop us from trying to improve our Community. I think it was Abe Lincoln who said “If you want to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing and be nothing”. Kudos to Cassie and Whitney for their fresh ideas and for showing all of Oklahoma all the #TheGoodStuff we have here in Chickasha.

About Coy Lewallen

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