The head of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce is taking on some additional duties, working state- and nationwide.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer appointed Havre Chamber Executive Director Debbie Vandeberg as a Montana Ambassador.
“I’m honored and excited right now, ” she said Thursday. “I’ve talked with a few of the folks I’ve gotten to know over the years from being with Leadership Montana (who are involved in the Ambassador program.) I’m getting to work for Montana business with people I’ve already gotten to know and respect.
“It’s kind of a link between the local level and the state, ” she added.
Vandeberg said she still is waiting for her packet of information telling her exactly what her duties will be.
A webpage about the Ambassadors says the volunteer, nonprofit organization comprises leaders in business, education and professional services with a goal of furthering the best interests of the state in areas of business conditions and living conditions in the state.
The members of the group, at the direction of the governor, act as ambassadors for the state, in areas including:
• Representing the governor and the state Department of Commerce in business-related contacts in and out of Montana;
• Assisting the Department of Commerce and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development with business, trade and tourism development programs;
• Sponsoring programs to encourage and support economic development;
• Supporting related activities by other groups, and
• Supporting efforts by other groups to maintain or increase the quality of education.
Vandeberg said a focus of the Ambassadors is increasing their presence and representation on the Hi-Line. When the Ambassadors began talking to her about joining the program, that was one of the factors in her decision.
“(I decided) this will be good for the area, good for business. ”
She said that increased focus on rural areas on the Hi-Line and in eastern Montana could help with projects being worked on in that region.
“They’re really focused on this neck of the woods and, I think that’s exciting, ” Vandeberg said.