The new face of the Milton Chamber of Commerce is a familiar one.
Milton business owner Lisa Sumstine was selected by the chamber's board of directors as the new executive director. She replaces Georgia Dalzell who moved to North Carolina after working with the chamber for five years.
Board President Michael Clark said Sumstine's local knowledge and enthusiasm for the town really made her stand out.
“I've already gotten calls from people telling me that it was a great choice, and they're happy we hired her,” he said.
Along with her husband Jim, Sumstine operates Copy Right Inc., a printing and copying business, out of their Union Street home. Originally from Milton, Sumstine said her experiences in the town should help her in her new role.
“I know the history of at least the last 40 years here,” she said. “I know what the town Milton was, and I've kind of seen the evolution to where we are today. And certainly I have relationships already in place that a newcomer would just start to build.”
She said she's already received a number of phone calls from people in town offering their support and encouragement.
Among her biggest goals, she said, is growing chamber membership and attracting more visitors to town.
“I'd like to see even more businesses come to Milton and see the business we already have here flourish and grow,” she said. “The way you do that is by bringing more people to town and educating consumers that are already here about everything Milton has to offer. There are a lot of people I want to meet and talk to about what they feel they are lacking and what they feel we could do for them.”
The other part Sumstine's job is organizing some of Milton's biggest events, like the upcoming Bargains on the Broadkill from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24. The event features two big fundraisers for the chamber – the Canoe and Kayak Race at 10 a.m. and the Duck Race at 1 p.m. This year's kayak race is sponsored by Irish Eyes.
While this may be her first experience working for a chamber, Sumstine said she's confident she will succeed and help the town's business community.
“I think my experience and education kind of fit what [the chamber board's] criteria was,” she said. “But certainly it's a bit of a labor of love for me because Milton is my home, and I have small children and my husband, and I have a business here.
“I know we have some empty space here downtown, and that's on the top of everybody's list. I would strive to be a chamber that when people come to town decide to open a business, we could complement whatever it is they want to do.”