New Chamber Director

The Audubon Chamber of Commerce has a new director - Joni Madsen.

AUDUBON - Joni Madsen is the new face at the Audubon Chamber of Commerce - and you will find the chamber, and Audubon County Economic Development in a new location, as well.

Earlier this week the chamber and ACED offices had to make a sudden move after water issues came up at their regular offices, so for Madsen, the job and the location are both new.

The new location is at 405 Tracy Street, and officials aren't sure how long they will be there. Madsen said phone lines were supposed to go in today (Friday), but noted area residents could check the Chamber's Facebook page for information as well as stopping in.

Madsen is a former resident who has returned to Audubon - her parents still live in town, and they managed the golf course in the 1970's.

"I taught school, high school English, for 22 years, and taught in Audubon for 13 years, and I taught at DMACC," she said, retiring in 2015.

After that she got married, and moved to Windsor Heights, where her husband lived, but they ended up coming back to Audubon.

"He fell in love with Audubon," she said, "He's from Mason City and he loves small towns."

Madsen wasn't planning to look for a chamber job, but she saw the ad on Facebook and it got her interest.

"Barb Smith has done a great job, for 25 years," she said, "and then the opportunity presented itself." She wasn't looking for a full time job, but she has always liked to promote her hometown of Audubon, so the job was perfect.

"I've been promoting Audubon since like 2007, on my Facebook page, Fabulous Women of Audubon," she said, adding she put up postings about things people might remember from the past.

"I'm a real promoted, I love Audubon," she said, and noted she wasn't sure she could fill the shoes of Barb Smith, but she's excited to get started.

She said she didn't like to "be in the dark. I like to know what's going on, so now I'm here in a new place."

She's learning where things go and what needs to be done, but says, "It will be a huge learning curve for a while, but Sara (Slater) and Laurie (Gilbert) with ACED will help me out, I'm glad they are close."

Madsen said she especially looks forward to events, planning events and being at the events themselves. "I love T-Bone Days, that's a lot of fun," she said, and noted one thing she'd like to see is the Chamber getting more involved with Homecoming activities. She might even like to see about starting a new tradition with a new event, but said she hasn't had time yet to see what is needed.

She said the town had a lot of things going for it including businesses, entertainment and more, and she was just getting started. "I'm just unpacking everything," she said, like the souvenirs - ranging from t-shirts and caps to Albert the Bull stuffed animals and even salt and pepper shakers, "that fly off the shelf," she said, and of course all the brochures about what to do and where to go.

"Audubon has a lot to offer," she said.