Less than two years after stepping down to care for her infant son, Maia Crespin is back as executive director of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Crespin replaces Brenda Case, who took over for Crespin in July 2020 and served as executive director until earlier this month.
Crespin doubled chamber membership in her two years as executive director before stepping down from her full-time role in May 2020 after she and her husband, Matt, a local State Farm agent, welcomed their newborn son, Mazerik, into the world. He was born on Feb. 12, 2020 and Crespin tried to continue working from home but realized she just couldn’t and devote the necessary time to both tasks.
She joined the chamber as executive director in May 2018 after serving as an executive assistant for the Town of Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, a position she held since January 2017.
“Leaving the chamber was a very difficult decision and I will miss all of our chamber members immensely,” she wrote on Facebook at the time.
She said at the time that she planned to stay connected.
“Don’t worry, the Crespin Crew isn’t going anywhere,” she wrote in an email to the Roundup at the time. “I’ll be back helping our community in some form or fashion but with a cute little sidekick.”
Crespin assisted with training Case when she was hired.
Now, 16 months after stepping away, Crespin returns.
“One of the board of directors called me to advise Brenda was leaving and asked if I would be interested in coming back,” Crespin wrote in a text to the Roundup. “After many discussions with the board, plus friends and family, I felt it was time to jump back in the saddle again. I have a special place in my heart for all of our members and I am excited to serve them again!”
This marks the sixth change in executive directors in the seven years since John Stanton left after seven years in the role in 2014.
Chamber president Heather Oberg hopes Crespin’s return signals an end to the revolving door in chamber leadership.
“The Rim Country Regional Board of Directors is excited to welcome back Maia Crespin,” Oberg wrote in an email to the Roundup. “I worked with Maia as a board member throughout her previous time working as our executive director.
“She has a vibrant personality, vast experience, and an already solid relationship with a large amount of businesses in our community. She is also excited to reach out to the ones she hasn’t met yet.”
Her role differs from the one she previously held. The chamber had combined two positions into one when she took over in 2018. But they hired an administrative assistant a few months ago.
“There are a few changes,” Crespin wrote to the Roundup. “I am part-time working 30 hours a week, but I am always available via email at email@example.com or by phone at 928-978-0490. I do not have set office hours at this time.”
She said limiting her work hours to 30 per week will be challenging.
But she’ll have help with the administrative assistant.
“So, I can be out in the community serving our members,” she wrote. “We also have some exciting events coming up, so make sure to check out our event calendar at www.rimcountrychamber.com. We also highlight member events, so save it as a favorite.” The chamber had been running the town’s visitor center, but that is changing.
“The chamber is working closely with the Town of Payson to transition the visitors center to the town,” Crespin wrote. “The chamber has overseen the visitors center for years and we were honored to do so but with time comes change.”
Oberg explained the changes in the job description this time around for Crespin.
“We have found over the last several years that the chamber of commerce requires two distinct skill sets in order to run effectively,” the chamber president said. “The executive director is our ‘face of the chamber’ running frequent events and reaching out personally to the community.
“We also need someone with a keen sense for administration — an administrator who can manage the inner workings, grant writing and online management and marketing.
“Currently Aleah Sekandari is still helping out, and we are very grateful, however the role of assistant director is going to be changing into a role that will be more of an administrator. When we have clearly defined the new role we certainly hope Aleah will apply for it, but we also do support her if she chooses another path.”
Crespin is excited to be back.
“I am enthusiastic for this new venture with the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce and the future of our community,” she wrote.