Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce hires Harrison as new executive director

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Twilia Harrison replaces Karen Elsey

The Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director.

Twilia Harrison, 54, replaced Karen Elsey in October. Elsey was the executive director for about 2-1/2 years.

Elsey resigned for personal reasons, said Pat Bingley, chamber president.

"She was not let go," said Bingley, who is a part of the chamber's executive board, which hired Harrison.

There were three applicants to replace Elsey.

"The reason we chose Twilia was because she has a vision of what she wants to see come into Shell Knob, and she has the passion to make it happen," Bingley said.

She is so excited to be the executive director, Harrison said.

"I have the opportunity to be right here when things are happening and changes are made and new people come in," she said.

Harrison said she wants to not only bolster existing businesses in Shell Knob, but to attract others to the community. She wants to meet all of the businesses on a personal level.

"First and foremost, it is about the chamber members," she said. "They are the people who hired me. That is who I am working for.

"The better that we make them, the better our community is, and we all benefit from that."

Harrison, Kim Przybyl and John Crain initiated the Shakin' in the Shell Festival nine years ago, and Harrison helped coordinate the festival for the first three years. She chaired this year's festival.

Before Harrison and her husband, Larry, moved to Shell Knob in April 2003, she worked in emergency dispatch with the Westmont, Ill., Police Department for 18 years, and she worked with a private ambulance service in Fargo, N.D., for five years.

Her last position at the Westmont Police Department was supervisor of support services -- she supervised the day-to-day operations of the 911 center and

records division.

She also volunteered in the Westmont Main Street program from 1997 to 2002, and she was its president for two years.

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