Officials with the city of Denison recently announced Melanie Truxal will be taking a full-time position as the new Main Street coordinator at the beginning of 2018.
Truxal, who started with the Denison Area Chamber of Commerce in April 2016 as its tourism and marketing director, made the announcement earlier this month on her personal Facebook account.
“Let me take a moment to tell you all in case you haven’t heard the big news, I’m moving offices and switching gears to focus on Downtown Denison with Donna Dow,” Truxal said in the post, referring to the Denison Main Street director.
Truxal started in her new position on Nov. 20 but will be working part time with both the Denison Chamber and Main Street department through the end of the year, she said. This will allow Truxal to assist as new Chamber President Ken Higdon, who started with the Chamber earlier this month, transitions into his new role and searches for Truxal’s replacement.
Dow said the new position was created by combining all of her part time employees into one, single full-time position. This change in the department was previously discussed during the Denison City Council’s annual budget retreat in May.
Under the previous system, Dow said she could be splitting 40 hours a week between as many as three part-time employees. This will make Truxal the first full-time position in the department outside of the director position, Dow noted.
By combining the part-time positions into one dedicated position, Dow said she hopes to increase efficiency within the department.
“I didn’t have someone there all the time every day,” Dow said. “I sometimes had to wait on some tasks until someone else would get there, and I could step out of the office.”
Dow added that the new position will become valuable as the city moves forward with its Designing Downtown Denison initiative. Through a series of projects, the city will reinvest in downtown Denison in the form of public works improvements and the creation of new amenities near the city’s core. The first phase of improvements could see work as early as 2019.
Under this new position, Dow said Truxal will focus on particular duties related to the Texas Main Street Association and downtown’s property database. Truxal added that she will also be working as an intermediary to assist downtown businesses when interacting with the Texas Historical Commission.
“If they need help with the processes, I will be there to guide them through it,” she said.
Dow said she received 27 applications for the new position, including one from a former part-time employee. However, Dow said Truxal’s previous interactions and work with the department from her position at the Chamber helped set her apart.
“With my work at the Chamber, I have had a chance to meet most of the businesses within our community, and I look forward to working even closer with those in downtown,” Truxal said.
With her role in the Main Street Department set to go full time in January, Truxal said the Chamber will be posting her position on its website in the coming days.
For his part, Higdon said he just finished hiring someone for a similar position with the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce prior to taking the chamber president position in Denison. For this opening, Higdon said he is looking for individuals with a marketing or sales background, but noted that they do not necessarily need a background in chamber management.
Beyond the experience, Higdon said the ideal candidate will also need to have the right chemistry to match the community.