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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin Chamber hires new executive director, assistant

(June 11, 2015) Looking to improve its services to membership, the Berlin Chamber of Commerce last week announced the addition of two new faces to run day-to-day operations.
Ocean Pines resident Larnet St. Amant, a sales representative at Bruder Hill, took over as the new executive director in May, while Salisbury native Morgan Coulson, a photographer and frequent contributor to the Bayside Gazette, took over last week as the new administrative assistant.
St. Amant said she heard about the job through Chamber President-Elect Donna Compher.
“Being here in Berlin, working in retail, I wanted to know what else I could do for the town,” she said. “I started coming to merchant meetings when I first started working at Bruder Hill and saw the excitement for the town and I wanted to know what else I could do to help. When this position became available, it was attractive to me. It’s exciting and there’s a lot that can be done.”
While Coulson, 26, grew up in Salisbury, she said she’s always been drawn to Berlin.
“Recently Berlin has had an artistic and cultural boom that’s really unrivaled in any area around here,” she said. “It’s really important for me, especially for people my age, to enhance as much of the artistic and sort of bohemian lifestyle as possible. We just got named ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ and we might as well feast on that and use it to our advantage.”
The chamber had previously operated with a board of directors and a single staffer. With St. Amant and Coulson working side-by-side, the organization hopes to be able to expand its offerings across the board.
“I think it will be great,” St. Amant said. “I feel like with my business contacts here in town and in Ocean City, and being here for 30 years, I feel very comfortable reaching out to businesses and being a part of that. I feel like Morgan is that, plus the young, hip tech-savvy person who’s going to keep me straight and keep us going in the right direction.
“It can be overwhelming and it can be a lot to take in, but if you have two people doing it, we can check on each other, which will be great,” St. Amant added.
The chamber at this juncture is run by almost exclusively women, with Compher, Chamber President Natalee DeHart and Secretary Nicky Chavis. With St. Amant and Coulson, the chamber has two more women promoting local business.
“I think of Berlin as more of an artistic location, and women especially seem to have a more of that delicate touch when it comes to the finesse of having to sell around here,” Coulson said. “Boutiques are very popular, and I think you have to have that kind of ability to market to a certain group, and men don’t seem to be encouraged to do that so much.”
St. Amant agreed.
“Women understand each other and it’s easier to find a connection with other women. I think it’s a great thing to be a part of,” she said, adding that she also immediately clicked with new town Economic and Development Director Ivy Wells. “We all want to be here. I’m always here doing something, and I love being here. We’re very lucky.”
DeHart said she was excited to have both women on board.
“I think it will be a positive transition for the chamber to have two part-time staffers that can work together and bounce ideas off of each other,” she said.
“Larnet will oversee membership and events and Morgan will be handling the communications and the marketing within the office. The two will work together along with the board to improve upon our member benefits and offer some new member events for the future,” she said.