The Haines Chamber of Commerce hired Debra Schnabel as its program administrator.

Previously, the only staff position with the chamber was an officer manager. The board of directors works on a volunteer basis. She approached the chamber board with the idea of creating a new staff position. She says she wants to work to develop a voice for the Haines business community and help the chamber have more impact in the community.

Schnabel is a lifelong resident, business owner and former assembly member. She recently completed her master’s in public administration.

Schnabel says in recent years, the chamber has been mostly focused on planning community events, but says she wants to work to get the chamber more engaged in economic development and revitalization activities.

Barbra Mulford is the chair of the board of directors. She says the board agreed to Schnabel’s hire in hopes that she can help the organization develop a stronger voice for businesses in the community. Schnabel will work 20 hours a week with the chamber. Mulford says the board will also fill the vacant officer manager position.