Challenges await Brenda Case.
And that’s fine with the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new executive director.
Case is switching careers after 37 years in public education, all in Arizona.
“I am excited to jump into a new journey,” Case said. “The chamber has a strong and diverse board who are willing to work hard to create a platform for businesses to succeed.”
Case comes to the chamber after spending the past seven years working with the Payson Unified School District as the director of curriculum and instruction and assistant superintendent.
She is the chamber’s fifth executive director since John Stanton left after seven years in the role in 2014.
She takes over for Maia Crespin, who stepped down after two years in the post. Crespin took over in May 2018 and left at the end of May this year after she and husband Matt Crespin welcomed the birth of their first child. Their son, Mazerik Crespin, was born on Feb. 12.
Crespin doubled chamber membership in her time as director.
“Following Maia is not going to be easy,” Case said. “I mean, who can compete with that million-dollar smile? She has set the bar high, and this is exactly where it should be.”
COVID-19 has created many challenges for Rim Country businesses and the chamber.
“We are going to have to look at new ways to reinvent ourselves while remaining safe and healthy,” she said. “COVID-19 knocked American businesses to their knees. We need to bond together as a community to support Payson businesses as they try to reestablish themselves. Healthy Payson businesses create healthy Payson families.”
She said she’s grateful for Crespin’s help in her new role.
“Both Maia and the board will play a tremendous role in my transition into the director’s position,” Case said. “I am looking forward to making connections with our membership and finding ways to support their success.”
Case is an Arizona native with ties to Rim Country. Her family has owned a cabin in Tonto Village since 1960, and she and her parents and three older brothers spent many weekends and summers “enjoying the beauty of our small town.”
She lived in Phoenix before moving to Payson full time in 2013. She has a son and granddaughter who recently moved to Rim Country. Her brothers and their families live in the Valley and often return to the area.
“They love to visit and relive all the fun we had growing up in the Village,” she said.
Case has taught elementary, middle school, GED programs, and worked as an adjunct professor for Arizona State University. She also served as an elementary and middle school building principal and worked as a “turnaround” principal for underperforming schools.
Case said the three Ps make her the right choice as the new executive director.
“I’m personable, professional, and passionate about Payson,” she said. “That might be four Ps. I have administrative experience and am not afraid of the challenges that face our business community in light of a very unpredictable start to 2020.”
She said businesses need to adapt to meet their customers’ needs in this COVID-19 climate.
“The pandemic has affected everything and everyone,” Case said. “We have to look at how we can successfully reinvent what we did prior to COVID-19. Things need to be done differently to stay safe, and those who modify or adjust their business to meet the needs of a changed society, will flourish.
“People will still need jobs and will still spend money. Businesses who can reinvent themselves to meet the consumer where they are will benefit. I see this global tragedy as an opportunity to take a good look at what the consumer really needs and figure out how to make it available to them. That is why being a part of a family of collaborative business owners is critical.”
Case encouraged businesses that are not chamber members to consider joining.
“If you have a business in Rim Country, I encourage you to be a part of this amazing network of professionals,” she said. “We can work together to rise to the challenges that face us as a business community and strengthen our economic presence.”
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to become a chamber member.
Chamber president Shawn Dugan said Case’s involvement with the school district should help foster a growing bond between the chamber and local schools.
“We are looking forward to Brenda taking command at the chamber,” Dugan said. “Brenda’s relationship with the school district and local leaders gives me great hope for greater connection with our youth education programs and local businesses. Brenda is an impressive individual and I couldn’t be happier that we found someone with her credentials to take over as executive director.”
Although she’s spent most of her professional career in public education, Case has owned several Phoenix area businesses over the years, including a consulting firm.