Chamber administrator on duty, raring to go
Since the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce relocated to its new building, members knew they would need someone to welcome, greet and be the face of the chamber. Former event coordinator Tammy Aeschliman was the perfect fit for the job. She began at the new chamber building at the center in March and hasn’t looked back.
“I worked in the corporate world for a long time,” said Aeschliman. “I love sales and I love people. This was appealing to me because I could kind of do the same thing, without having to sell anything. I love getting to know people and their businesses, so this was a perfect fit for me.”
Aeschliman said she was not expecting nearly the traffic they had come through the office back in March when she first took the job. Nearing 300 people, she said it was amazing and inspiring.
“I can’t believe the people that come through here and all the different places they’re from,” Aeschliman said. “It’s amazing how people find Pine Island, and I get to be the first person they meet coming in.
“My priority is to make sure they get whatever they need from the island. Our members do a great job of getting everything here to the office that we can give to people so we can tell them what there is to do on the island. For me it’s about getting to know all the businesses, so I know what to tell people to do when they come in.”
It’s a win-win, she says, referring to the businesses getting exposure to newcomers and the newcomers being submerged in everything the island has to offer. According to Aeschliman, getting connected to the chamber as a member and passing along business cards is possibly the best way to make sure a business is visible to those visiting or day-tripping the island. After 20 years of visiting the island with her family of snowbirds, Aeschliman said, two years ago she and her husband decided to move here.
“I got out of the corporate world and finally found my special place here,” said Aeschliman. “I have the privilege of holding a job that builds a stronger community by helping businesses grow. I come in every day so pumped up about this job.”
Aeschliman went back to school to get a degree in administration at the same time her son was going through high school.
“I worked really hard to get here,” said Aeschliman. “I went to college when I was 40. After 5 years as an events coordinator at a private country club, the economy crashed and I lost my job. I didn’t know what to do and my husband said, you’re going back to school, so my son and I had GPA matches to see who had the best grades. I had a great job, but it was time to change, so I came to Florida and now I get to do this every day.”