The Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director.
Vicki Graham, who held the position for six years, stepped down to move with her husband Kyle Graham to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
Magi Aguilar took over the job this month. Aguilar previously worked for the state as the associate director of the Early Childhood and Assistance program for Whidbey Island and Anacortes. In her position there, she worked with at-risk youth and families and marketed their programs and resources to the community.
She said the Chamber of Commerce executive director position was the perfect blend of community engagement and her experience and passion for marketing and communications.
“It just married those two roles together,” she said.
Although it was hard to leave her old role, Aguilar said she wanted something a little more community-oriented.
“That sense of community is really what’s rewarding for me,” she said.
Aguilar, originally from California, has lived on Whidbey Island for about seven years. Her husband works at NAS Whidbey. She said they were only supposed to be here for a few years but ended up loving it too much to leave.
“We just decided that this was going to be home for us,” she said of Oak Harbor.
Aguilar said her first couple weeks on the job have consisted mostly of meeting people and attending community meetings.
“Remembering faces and names is probably going to be a challenge in the beginning, but I’ll get there,” she said.
She said that Graham’s biggest piece of advice to her was to continue to maintain community relationships.
“Just from her conversations with other people that I have seen, I can definitely tell that she does make really good connections with members, with businesses, just with people in general,” she said. “I definitely am going to continue that.”
Aguilar said that those relationships are going to be her main focus.
“Ultimately, we are here to gain members and gain memberships, but making more of a relationship and building that is more important to me,” she said. “That comes first. The memberships come when you make those connections with people.”
Aguilar’s first priority is revamping the chamber’s website so that it is more user-friendly and is a resource for residents, tourists and businesses to find information about the city.
“I definitely want to unveil a new website hopefully in October, maybe November,” she said.
Secondly, she wants to get to know local businesses more and see what else she can do to support them.
“I definitely want to use our strengths as a small community and build upon that because that’s where you’re going to make those long-lasting relationships for years and years,” she said.
For more information on the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, visit oakharborchamber.com.