LEMOORE — The Lemoore Chamber of Commerce has found its interim CEO in Amy Ward, who brings a knowledgeable background in community service and has been on the chamber’s board of directors since 2015.
“I knew the second I found out that [previous CEO Jenny MacMurdo] was leaving, I was interested,” Ward said, adding she did get the blessing of her family first, of course.
Ward’s “super supportive” family includes her husband, Jason, who is retired from the Navy, son, Niko, and daughters, Kylie and Jaylin, who are all very involved in the Lemoore community.
Ward was the community services director of Lincoln Military Housing at Naval Air Station Lemoore for almost 10 years and prior to that she worked with the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society in Temecula. Ward was born and raised in Temecula and moved to Lemoore 14 years ago with her ex-husband as a military transplant.
“I decided to stay here because I love the area and the community,” Ward said.
Since joining the Chamber board, she has volunteered numerous hours at chamber events, served on a number of committees and served as a Young Entrepreneurs Academy teacher.
Most recently, Ward co-founded the Kings Young Professionals networking and community service group. She said because she has been on the chamber board for years, she sees what the chamber does for businesses in the community and how it helps them.
“I am extremely passionate about this area, business, the growth of the area and the sense of community,” Ward said.
She is already immersed in many community activities and events, so when the interim CEO position came about, she said she was incredibly excited for the opportunity to do more of what she’s already been doing in a full-time position.
Ward said her background has prepared her well for this position, which is not just about hosting events but more about creating partnerships and fostering relationships with community members and business owners.
“That’s really what the chamber is all about,” Ward said. “It’s about networking and building support.”
Ward is definitely not in this alone; she has the “amazing duo” of Events Director Brenda Martin and Membership Coordinator Brittany Reece. She said she looks forward to working with them and continuing to explore the ideas they have already started.
MacMurdo, who is leaving to lead the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, has been training Ward this week in a transitional phase, and Ward’s official first day on her own will be Friday. MacMurdo said she wishes Ward luck and is excited to have her as a new chamber colleague.
“I have every confidence that Amy will continue the great work that the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to on behalf of our membership and community,” MacMurdo said. “She has the poise, presence and professional nature to handle the job with ease.”
Ward said her goal for her first month on the job is to just learn about every facet of the job and get out and meet the members and talk to them. She said because the chamber is all about supporting members, her main priority is to get to know the members and learn what they would like to get out of the chamber.
Ward’s first day on the job will actually be the start of Lemoore’s “Rockin’ the Arbor” event series, which will run every Friday for the next six weeks and boasts live music and food vendors. She encourages chamber members to reach out to her with any ideas or to just meet and have a conversation.