01/15/14 — Julie Beck to lead MO Chamber as interim president

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Julie Beck to lead MO Chamber as interim president

By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on January 15, 2014 1:46 PM

Julie Beck has been chosen as the interim president of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce after a meeting of the Chamber board on Jan. 8.

"We feel very confident in Julie. We feel extremely excited," said Chamber board chairman Adam Livengood.

Ms. Beck has been on the Chamber board for 12 years and has served as its chairwoman for a number of terms. She's most well-known, however, for her involvement as the principal organizer of the N.C. Pickle Festival, which she has done for the last 20 years.

"Fortunately, I'm well versed with the Chamber, and people know who I am," she said. "It was a logical move."

Ms. Beck also spent 22 years as the director of student activities at Mount Olive College.

Her most recent gig has been as head of sponsorships and registration at Wilson's Whirligig Festival, where she gained contacts that she hopes to use with the next iteration of the N.C. Pickle Festival, scheduled for its normal fourth weekend of April.

"I spent three months in Wilson, and it was really informative. I brought some of my ideas to Wilson, and I've brought some of their ideas back," she said.

Ms. Beck said her primary goal as interim president is to make sure that the four events scheduled during her time with the Chamber, which ends in June with a potential new hire, move forward without any problems.

Those scheduled events are the Chamber Banquet on Feb. 6, the Rotary/Chamber Cabin Fever Golf Tournament on Feb. 28, the 28th Annual N.C. Pickle Festival on the weekend of April 26 and Leadercast on May 9.

Ms. Beck is confident in being able to put them together as she is familiar with each of these annual events. But, she said, she anticipates the Pickle Festival taking a little more time than usual this year as the primary organizing team of Ms. Beck, Lynn Williams and former Chamber president Tyler Barwick Graham has been reduced to just Ms. Beck and Mrs. Williams.

"A lot of things I didn't have to worry about because Tyler did them, and now, that will be me. I don't think it will be overbearing, but I'll be busy," Ms. Beck said.

The Chamber is advertising until June in both local and national media for a potential new chamber president. Ms. Beck will be eligible to apply.

She, however, isn't exactly sure what she'll do by the end of her time as interim president.

"At this point," she said. "I really don't know. I get to try out a job. I view it as I should get into it and see what it is."

But even if she doesn't get the job, she knows she'll still be working in event planning.

"I'm an event planner. That's what I do," she said. "I think what it boils down to is organizing an activity that people come down to and have a good time.

"My whole family is like that. We need 29 things thrown at us, we can take it and work it all out. It's the satisfaction of 'yeah, we got this."

And as always, Ms. Beck has made the stipulation that if she does apply for a more permanent position at the chamber, she better be able to travel.

She said the request was pretty much expected.