Arbogast named new Chamber director

An Elkins native already is hard at work after being selected as the new executive director for the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce.

Jessica “Jess” Arbogast has begun to acclimate herself to her new responsibilities, which include retaining membership, recruiting new members and planning events.

“I am very excited for this opportunity,” Arbogast said.

She graduated from Elkins High School in 2006 and is a 2010 alumnae of West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she studied graphic design and marketing. She worked for the Service Center at WVWC and then earned a position in Charleston as a graphic designer for the state Department of Education.

Arbogast also is a local small business owner, running MadHat’n Designs in Elkins, where she creates specialty cakes and gourmet cupcakes and produces other artwork.

Arbogast isn’t wasting any time getting to work in her new position. She said her experience in graphic design, social media and the local connections she already has built in the community-at-large give her the appropriate skills to bring a unique perspective to her role in the organization.

Arbogast began her new job just in time to work on last-minute details of the ERCCC’s annual golf tournament, which is scheduled for Saturday at Canaan Valley Resort.

She also is at the organization’s helm in time to prepare for the Chamber’s biggest event of the year – the three-day car show July 5, 6 and 7.

“We take pride in bringing back to Elkins a young leader,” said Amy Shumacher, president of the ERCCC Board of Directors. “We welcome Jess to our team.”

“I look forward to working with the small businesses in town and the overall community,” Arbogast said. “I love Elkins, and I am so grateful to be moving back home and have an opportunity to make a difference.”

Arbogast is replacing the Chamber’s most recent executive director, Kate Reed, who held the position from July 2011 until her resignation in April. Reed now has a newly created position with the Leadership West Virginia program.