OTTUMWA — A new leader is coming to the chamber of commerce.
Tim Kurtz will take the helm at the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce on May 2. While he is currently a personal banker at Wells Fargo in Ottumwa, he previously served as the publisher for the Oskaloosa Herald for nine years and prior to that worked at the Ottumwa Courier for 20 years.
“I grew up here, went to school at the University of Iowa and then came back,” Kurtz said. “I’ve been here all my life, which is one of the things that encouraged me to apply for the position, because of the connections I have working on the sales side in the newspaper business — it’s a good match.”
His primary goal will be to continue the chamber’s mission to “promote the greater Ottumwa area as a hub of commerce,” he said.
“I want to get to know the businesses and see how I can benefit them, because it’s all membership-based,” he said. “The second part would be to recruit additional businesses to come in to town.”
Working with the other city organizations, especially the Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation, Main Street Ottumwa and the Ottumwa Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be key to the chamber’s success, he said.
“To promote new business, I’ll have to work closely with those groups,” he said. “We need to work together — that’s the key word — to promote Ottumwa as a whole ... to make downtown Main Street a viable place where people want to start a business. That goes for the whole community, not just downtown. What we’ve got going so far with the [Ottumwa Regional] Legacy Foundation is a great step. This is an exciting time to be launched in a group trying to promote businesses.