Perryville Chamber director gets off to good start in new role

Monday, October 2, 2017

Nobody can say Emily Steele did not come prepared.

The new executive director for the Perryville Chamber of Commerce, a Cape Girardeau native, took the position with three college degrees in hand and several years of experience with the Perryville Parks and Recreation Department, where she planned events.

She's a plugged-in, natural organizer for a vital organization that counts its membership at 450. She possesses bachelor degrees in recreation and business management, as well as a master's in public administration, all which help her coordinate planning. She's hit the ground running, facing the task of helping organize an event the city had not had a chance to host since its founding in the 19th century -- the Perryville Solarfest, which occurred Aug. 21 when a total solar eclipse covered the town for the first time. A sharp mind, helpful committee and cooperative weather helped deliver a successful event, which spanned four days and included everything from a carnival to a parade to concerts to multiple viewing sites. It wasn't your typical stretch of days for a city with more than 8,000 residents, but then again there haven't been many fall under the category of routine since she took over the position June 26.

"There isn't really a typical day," Steele told Southeast Missourian reporter Tyler Graef. "A lot of my day is spent planning for future events."

Her job entails meeting the needs to a wide variety of size businesses and helping create an environment where they can prosper and grow to sustain a strong economy for the city.

It's wonderful to see homegrown talent assume important positions in the area. We wish her the best in helping Perryville, the county seat of Perry County, thrive.

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