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JoEllen Graber, Mount Horeb Chamber of Commerce

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features JoEllen Graber, marketing and tourism coordinator, Mount Horeb Chamber of Commerce.

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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging part is getting people to come to Mount Horeb since we are surrounded by so many other great places to visit. The most rewarding is after people come they always say it was the highlight of their trip, or a pleasant surprise. Mount Horeb is really a great village with so many unique stores and artists — it really is a must see.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Janet Sperstad of Madison College. She is really doing great things with the U.S. Dept. of Labor in clarifying the classifications of hospitality, tourism, and meeting convention and event planners. It always amazes me to hear her speak and see how much the industry is growing with her at the helm. Meeting and convention planning takes a certain set of skills and the education to back it up. It is no longer something that should be put on an administrative assistant; they have a different set of skills.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

Probably working on the 105th anniversary celebration for Harley-Davidson Motor Company. It was such a global event and being on that team was amazing. Getting a company bike to ride was not bad either!

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. So much of my life I have spent hours pondering over things I had no control over, and also looking back at moments in time and situations and thinking what I would have done differently. I think reflection is important, but you have to learn and move on.


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