Like the city it represents, the Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce is on the verge of explosive growth, its newly hired executive director Linda Harmon believes.
“I think the timing is ripe,” she said. “We haven’t touched the tip of the iceberg on what can be done as a chamber.
“I’m going to have a big job. It will be a lot of fun.”
Harmon, who takes the lead at the chamber March 1, has an award-winning marketing background from which to draw ideas. One of her first marketing jobs was at Englewood’s Cinderella City, once the largest covered shopping center west of the Mississippi River and a major Denver-area tourist draw. She’s also worked as marketing and public relations director for the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau, and for a home construction company she owned with her previous husband.
Harmon sees many opportunities to help current chamber members and expand membership in the relatively young organization, which was founded in 2006.
“To me, one of the key things a chamber needs to be doing is helping businesses build their businesses more,” she said. “That’s high on the agenda.
“At this point in time, there are a lot of things that aren’t being offered that are standard in other chambers: a young professionals group, a women-in -business group, a leads group. There aren’t currently things like business fairs, which I think are important. A lot of services can be added to the menu.”
The next step, she said, is to add to the membership, now at about 150.
“There has to be a move to take it to the next level,” she said. “I don’t think there’s an interest in becoming South Metro (Denver Chamber). But I think there’s an opportunity to take this up to a few hundred members. The more membership we have, the more impact we have.”
She also wants to try to tap into the growing health care market in the Lone Tree and south suburban area.
A native of Boulder, Harmon said she’s seen other areas of metro Denver grow the way Lone Tree is primed to do.
“In the last five years, Lone Tree has just kind of exploded,” she said. “It’s definitely a dynamic area.
“I watched this happen to the north for Broomfield. Between Denver and Boulder, it’s all filled in. Now, it’s like it’s going the other direction between Denver and Colorado Springs.”
The Denver resident and mother of three grown children plans to move to the unincorporated Littleton area of Jefferson County. A skiing and hiking enthusiast, Harmon owns a Bernese mountain dog.
She replaces former chamber director Michelle Holbrook, who resigned in December to become the director of Denver’s Christian Youth Theater.
“We are very excited to welcome Linda to our chamber,” said Lone Tree Chamber founder Donna Russell, who’s served as acting director since Holbrook’s departure. “She brings a wealth of knowledge, and her experience in managing and leading organizations like the Lone Tree Chamber will be invaluable.”