Port Neches Chamber, RiverFest leadership sees changes

Published 12:16 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

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PORT NECHES — Crystal Jordan has led the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce as executive director for almost two years though ribbon cuttings, monthly networking coffees, business events and RiverFest.

She will formally say goodbye to the position at the end of this week as she moves on to a different job.

Jordan made the announcement via social media, saying it is has been an incredible honor and great privilege to serve as executive director.

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“Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones and fostered a spirit of unity and growth within our community,” Jordan said.

“I am confident that the Chamber will continue to thrive and make a positive impact under new leadership. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this journey. I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things our community will accomplish in the future.”

Jordan said her time at the chamber was a great opportunity to do the things she loves; her greatest pleasure is service to the community.

Pictured, from left, are Port Neches Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Crystal Jordan, Simply Refined Boutique owner Amber Wright and chamber board president John Burton at the ribbon cutting in October 2023. (Candace Hemelt/The News)

“I know they (board) will find somebody amazing to keep the Chamber going forward,” she said.

With her departure comes two job openings, one for executive director of the Chamber and the other as executive director of Port Neches RiverFest.

Information on applying can be found on the Chamber and RiverFest Facebook pages.

When Jordan first joined the Chamber she had assistance from the previous director, Debbie Plaia.

Plaia has vast knowledge on the workings of RiverFest, a major multi-day festival that features power boat races, carnival, musical entertainment, food and more.

Plaia’s time period for her work with the festival is ending soon.

Chamber Board President Lance Bradley said the timing of Jordan’s departure and the end of Plaia’s work just happened to coincide.

Bliss Boutique Owner Paige Broussard receives the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month Award from Executive Director Crystal Jordan in February. (Candace Hemelt/The News)

There is a RiverFest committee overseeing the hiring of a new director, and the Chamber board also has a group looking for a director.

The final decision will be up to the Chamber board of directors.

Both positions are part time, less than 40 hours per week depending on the time of the year. From January to May is a busy time as RiverFest planning and the actual event is underway.

Officials are not ruling out the possibility of hiring one person for both positions should the right person apply.

Bradley said officials hope to have the spot or spots filled as soon as possible.

He said Jordan did a great job and understands she received a better opportunity for her and her family.

“As for me and the board, we hate to see her go but wish her the best in her new endeavor,” Bradley said.

Stefanie Wolfford, chamber member and RiverFest committee member, said Jordan has done an amazing job.

“We’re definitely sad to see her leave but we support her decision to go and are excited for her,” Wolfford said.

As for criteria with the positions, the committee is looking for someone with some experience with event planning.

They realize it is a tough role and there is a big learning curve. She said it would be helpful to have someone who can come in and hit the ground running.

As far as both positions, Wolfford would like to see someone who is financially savvy, has experience in marketing and event planning and can be the face of Port Neches — someone who can represent that Chamber well.