McKenna leaves Tosa chamber for regional post

Dec. 23, 2011

After two years of advocating for the local business community, Meg McKenna is leaving her position as executive director of the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce to take a job that has a regional impact.

McKenna will join VISIT Milwaukee, the area's convention and visitors bureau, as director of development starting Jan. 3.

Wauwatosa is the bureau's only suburban member, and it's McKenna's knowledge of Tosa and her connections here that helped her land the job.

"They were interested in me because I know Wauwatosa," she said.

The ability to promote Wauwatosa as a meeting and tourism destination is one of the reasons she decided to make the move.

"I've never been so sad to leave a job because I love Tosa, but I will not lose my relationships with this new position," she said.

Her new position blends overseeing membership with developing collaborations with corporations.

McKenna has worked to rebuild the Tosa chamber's membership base, which had dwindled prior to her hiring. The chamber now has 240 members, 130 of those new additions - 70 in 2010 and 60 in 2011, she said.

"My goal was to raise the profile of the chamber, and I think we've achieved that," McKenna said.

She implemented heavy use of social media - including organizing Tweet Ups - freshened up programming to make it more relevant to today's business marketplace, started a restaurant and hospitality group and exposed local businesses to trends such as food trucks.

She's working with the chamber board on a transition plan and said there will be an interim director named, but that information won't be released until next week.

McKenna will lead the chamber's annual meeting Jan. 26

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