The Marana Chamber of Commerce has found its new leader.
The chamber selected Audra Winters as its new president and CEO. Winters will replace Ed Stolmaker, who announced he would leave the post earlier this year after 15 years on the job.
Winters, 46, who will start at the Marana chamber Feb. 4, 2019, has been the president and CEO of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce in Farmington, New Mexico since 2013. She called her selection to the Marana chamber “very
“It seems like a great community,” Winters said. “I’ve always loved Arizona,”
Winters got to know Marana over the past several years while attending training programs via the United States Chamber of Commerce in Tucson. She would fly into Phoenix and drive along Interstate 10, invariably stopping off in Marana.
A graduate of Mesa Community College and a native of Farmington, Winters holds an associate degree in apparel merchandising, and is a graduate of Leadership San Juan, “a program for people of diverse backgrounds, occupations and cultures that enhances the quality of leadership in San Juan County,” according to the release announcing her selection. She has also worked for the San Juan Medical Foundation in Farmington as special events coordinator, and was a member of the Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Commission and Farmington Branding Alliance.
The Farmington Chamber of Commerce has more than 480 members and, according to its 2017 annual report, added 56 new members over the year. The Marana Chamber serves more than 585 businesses throughout the community.
Winters said the Marana chamber has been under solid stewardship thanks to Stolmaker’s guidance. She plans to expand upon much of what makes chambers of commerce successful: Welcoming new businesses to the community, strengthening existing relationships and being a strong partner in Marana’s future.
Winters did mention possibly an interest in incorporating the “Young Professionals” committee from Farmington to Marana in order to better introduce the chamber of commerce and wider business world to youth in the community.
Speaking with Tucson Local Media, Stolmaker said that Winters “has a good mindset for listening to the needs of the business community, and she will be able to interact with the town itself in a positive way. She’s done that same thing where she is now, so it’s not going to be new for her.”
Though he did admit his own departure from the Marana chamber comes as a bittersweet moment after 15 years, Stolmaker said Winters will be “a very positive chamber for the chamber.”
Over the course of his own tenure, Stolmaker said he most cherished being an advocate for the local business community and developing a positive relationship with the town, Marana Unified School District and other local and regional partners.
Stolmaker said he would remain on staff through March 1 to ensure Winters is able to settle into town and ensure a smooth transition.