New Evergreen Chamber director brings enthusiasm, business savvy

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Connie McCubbins is the new executive director of the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce.

Connie McCubbins describes her new role as the executive director of the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce as a “dream job” that combines all her career experience in business.

McCubbins, 63, is taking the reins from Executive Director Bev Ferris, who was the Evergreen Chamber’s inaugural director and recently retired.

McCubbins joins the Evergreen Chamber from her previous position as a multimedia sales consultant for the Daily Inter Lake, where she worked for six years assisting clients with advertising from print to digital. Prior to that, she owned a fitness business in Columbia Falls for 20 years.

“As a business owner I know the positives and the negatives, and I’ll be able to share that,” McCubbins said.

McCubbins got into the fitness business when her husband had a job transfer from Columbia Falls to Dillon. While in Dillon, she decided to take a part-time job as a personal trainer at a gym called the Moving Image while earning certification in medical records from Western Montana College.

By the time her husband received a job transfer back to Columbia Falls, the owners of the gym had approached her about opening a Moving Image location in Columbia Falls. Up to this point, McCubbins hadn’t thought about owning a business. After having a desk job working in medical records, she decided owning a gym would be a perfect fit for her upbeat and energetic personality.

“I have to be with people,” said McCubbins, who is one of five siblings. “I’m a people person.”

Although she originally intended to have a career in the medical field, it could be said that business was in her blood when tracing her family history to 1909, when her grandfather opened Hundahl Sheet Metal in Kalispell.

McCubbins would go on to operate the gym for two decades before the decision to sell was made. When the advertising sales position opened up at the newspaper, McCubbins took the opportunity to focus her energy in a new way — assisting businesses while keeping on the move in the community.

During her time at the Daily Inter Lake McCubbins became an ambassador for the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce for a year and a half. She also was a fixture at the annual Show ’n Shine car show, which is hosted by the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce and the Daily Inter Lake is a sponsor.

McCubbins is excited to put her event planning and fundraising skills to use, which she gained from volunteering for various nonprofits and community organizations.

“I love seeing people come together and working together,” she said.

Her first goal is to visit with Evergreen businesses to learn what the needs are and how the chamber can benefit them in efforts to increase membership.

McCubbins has brainstormed ideas on how to spread the word about what Evergreen has to offer, such as updating the website and creating new publications geared to visitors. Another idea she would like to see happen is the installation of more visible road signs to welcome visitors as they enter Evergreen. She would also like to see renewed interest in beautification efforts.

“You know, when you come from the airport, what is the first thing you see? You go through Evergreen. So we need to have a ‘Welcome to Evergreen’ sign,” she said, “or an ‘Evergreen Chamber of Commerce welcomes you’ sign.”

Overall, her goal is to up the ante on promoting the community as a place to visit, work and live.

“We’re trying to get the word out,” McCubbins said. “To come visit Evergreen.”

For more information about the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce call 406-885-1212, email director@evergreencofc.com, or visit http://www.evergreencofc.com.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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