The Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has hired Ashley Cousens as their next executive director.
Her first day in the Chamber office will be Tuesday Sept. 13.
“We had more than 20 applications for this position, we interviewed six finalists, and Ashley was our consensus choice,” said chamber board president Michael Doumanian in a Friday Sept. 2 news release from the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re confident that she will do a great job and everyone who meets her will be as enthusiastic as we are.”
Doumanian also said Cousens immediately enrolled in Leadership Charlevoix County and attended its orientation after she was hired.
Chamber members are invited to come and meet her at Business After Hours on Thursday Sept. 15.
That event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Good Neighbors Food Pantry and Boyne Area Free Clinic, 624 State St.
Cousens will work with outgoing executive director Jim Baumann until early November, when Baumann will retire after eight years in the position.
Cousens has a strong background in community and workforce development.
She grew up in New Hampshire, attended college at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, where she earned her B.A. in Spanish and revived a Peer Advising program on campus.
After graduation, she spent the next decade in Plattsburgh, close to the Adirondack Mountains, working in community and workforce development.
She specializes in working collaboratively with community partners and developing unique programs to enrich the quality of life for community residents.
She has worked with high schools to incorporate work training programs, she has counseled youth who have dropped out of school to help them improve their skills and find jobs, and she has worked with employers and community organizations on grants and projects and on all sides of the workforce development relationship.
She has also worked for and with non-profit organizations.
Cousens relocated to Northern Michigan in February with her partner, Matthew, when he began working for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.
Soon after arriving, Ashley began working for the Friends of the Jordan River Watershed as the Program Director and has spent the spring and summer working to further the mission and goals of that organization.
In her spare time, Ashley loves to be in the great outdoors; whether she is hiking, kayaking, boating, mountain biking, skiing, or camping.
She also enjoys reading, baking, attending community events, volunteering, and meeting new and interesting people.