Bowie hired as Chamber Executive
The Mobridge Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors hired Haden Bowie as their new executive director last week. She will replace Michele Harrison, who is leaving the position to pursue her new role as Economic Development Director. Bowie will have her first day in the office Aug. 8, and is excited to begin working with local business owners.
Bowie moved to Mobridge two years ago and quickly made it her home. She grew up in New Glarus, Wis., a city the size of Mobridge with a similar economy based on tourism and agriculture.
“Mobridge feels a lot like my home town,” said Bowie, “and that’s part of why it was so easy to adapt and feel at home.”
Before moving to Mobridge, Bowie attended Hamline University in St. Paul Minn., where she received her bachelor of arts degree in anthropology. After graduation, she worked at the Minnesota Women’s Press, a small St. Paul newspaper, for a year in their circulation and distribution department.
“I really found that I liked working with business owners while at the Women’s Press. Business owners were open to sharing their concerns and goals,” said Bowie, “and I liked being involved in that community. I realized then that I wanted to help businesses and cities grow.”
With renewed direction, she went back to school, attending the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. She earned her masters in urban and regional planning two years later. Her classes focused on public engagement and community development. “I learned how to identify the assets of a town and how to work with the community to capitalize on them,” she explained.
After graduating, Bowie worked in community outreach for the largest district council in St. Paul, helping residents and business owners with challenges they were having in the Payne Phalen neighborhood. She moved to Mobridge to be closer to her parents and worked at PIC with her father for her first few months in town. She was hired by the Mobridge Tribune not long after arriving in town, and quickly worked her way up to marketing manager within the company.
“The Tribune has given me the opportunity to get to know many business owners in town, “ said Bowie, “It gave me the foundation I needed locally to do the executive director job well, and I really appreciate the opportunities I had there to grow and how welcoming the staff there is.”
The career change comes at a busy time for Bowie. She works as the zoning officer for the City of Mobridge part-time and is planning an Aug. 31 wedding with fiancé, Danny Merkel. Even with a full schedule Bowie is excited to get started.
“I feel like I just got the opportunity to do my dream job,” she said “I’m looking forward to meeting with business owners to see what their priorities are and researching ways the Chamber can help.”
Bowie is impressed with the changes that the Chamber has been making over the last few years and is looking forward to working with Harrison and other community development leaders to solve challenges together.
“We have some amazing Chamber events that keep people coming back to Mobridge. I want to continue to build those up and work with economic development and the city to find more resources for helping our business community at the same time.”
“There are a limited number of jobs in Mobridge where I could use my education and experience so fully,” said Bowie, “I am excited and even a little nervous about all of this. I will be holding myself to a very high standard because I care so much about the future of our city I want to do a great job for Mobridge and its business community.”