09/24/07 — Local graduate takes over MO chamber job

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Local graduate takes over MO chamber job

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 24, 2007 2:01 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Tyler Barwick brings the same bright smile to Center Street every morning.

You would, too, if you had just landed the job of your dreams, she said.

The Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce has hired a new president.

And for Mrs. Barwick, a self-described "homebody," there is no place she would rather be.

"Ever since I heard about the position being open, I have been really excited about it," the 22-year-old said. "Getting the job, it just feels great."

She admits it has been a bit strange working with people she looked up to as a young girl -- friends of her parents, parents of her friends and others she recognizes from past days in the park, local ball games or school.

"When I came into my interview, I think I knew three of the four people interviewing me just from being around town," Ms. Barwick said.

But the Mount Olive College graduate will tell you that knowing "nearly everyone" is one of the perks of small-town life, something that adds to the lure of the only place she has ever called "home."

"It definitely takes the pressure off," she said. "I mean, I'm home. I feel like I know the town, I know where I am at and I know the people who we are dealing with."

And she knows that most have the same future in mind for the town -- a little bigger but still close-knit and economically stable.

"Everybody wants to see Mount Olive grow and thrive, so that is what we're doing," Ms. Barwick said. "I want to see it grow, but at the same time, I want it to keep that hometown feeling."

So after a few weeks of learning the ropes, she will work to see that it does -- planning and executing the Chamber's upcoming raffle, developing ideas for new events like a "Pets in the Park" day that would bring animals from the Wayne County Animal Shelter to town for adoption.

But don't expect her to get used to being a town leader quite so quickly.

After all, it was not that long ago when she was just another little girl, walking along Center Street wearing that same smile.

"It's really weird to pull up to the Chamber, to get out of your car and see all the other people opening up their businesses, too," she said. "But I love it. I could never leave this town. I'm such a homebody. I just love Mount Olive. There's a lot of places out there but nothing compares."