By Rich Place
For Ashley Zielinski, it seems a perfect series of events has paved the way for her to promote Springville in bigger and better ways through new opportunities.
Zielinski has recently been putting her marketing degree to use at JD’s Brew Pub, where she works to promote events at the business with the larger goal of bringing more people into the community.
Now she’ll have a bigger platform to promote Springville, as she was recently named the new executive director at the Springville Chamber of Commerce.
“My goal with JD’s was just to make Springville better,” Zielinski said. “We need to be bringing more people to Springville because we are the center of Western New York.
“This would just give me a bigger platform,” she said about the chamber position. “I’d be disappointed with myself if I did not take the opportunity to do what I think I can do.”
The path that led to Zielinski becoming executive director at the chamber encapsulates what she has been doing — and what she plans to do moving forward — at both JD’s and the chamber.
She had organized a small business meetup at JD’s, giving the opportunity for small business owners to network. It wasn’t only geared to promote JD’s but also the community as a whole, she said, by allowing businesses to support each other. The chamber held its own networking event the following day.
Zielinski met up with Mike and Elise Rose, owners of Sheret Jewelers and board members with the chamber. They mentioned she should apply for the part-time executive director position; after all, she was already promoting Springville in her role at JD’s.
Now she finds herself in that position, filling a seat that has been vacant since Jennifer Weber resigned in February.
Zielinski attended her first chamber board meeting on May 1 and attended the Small Business Summit on May 3 on behalf of the chamber. She was able to get started in the office on May 7.
“I’m just trying to get things organized how I like to organize,” she said about her first week on the job. “It’s been kind of crazy but once I’m organized and things start to settle down, it’ll be easier.”
Zielinski grew up in Angola and is a graduate of Lake Shore Central School. She attended Canisius College and Bryant & Stratton College for her marketing degree. She moved to Springville about three years ago.
She admitted with a laugh she originally obtained her marketing degree to appease her parents, who encouraged her to attend college instead of attending, as she put it, “hair school.” But now she’s putting her marketing degree to good use.
“I never thought I would use it again,” she said, noting those at JD’s — and now those at the chamber — saw in her the skills she had to be a good marketer.
“I really just want to introduce myself to other local business owners and see what their ideas are, because I’m sure they have ideas for this town and they just haven’t found an outlet to get their ideas across,” she said.
The ultimate mission for the chamber is to make Springville a destination, and being the center for the network of businesses is what Zielinski said she hopes to achieve.
One idea that Zielinski hopes to execute soon is the idea of Food Truck Thursdays around Fiddlers Green Park at the same time concerts are taking place in the gazebo. That could start as early as June 7, she said, should permits and paperwork allow.
Zielinski said her boyfriend is from Springville and so are his parents, so she’s heard a lot about the way Springville used to be. And she’s committed to keeping Springville vibrant and making it even more of a destination for travelers to nearby destination communities like Ellicottville and East Aurora.
“When I think about planting my roots here, I want this place to be great,” she said.
She wants to do that with the help of area business owners and community members, and encourages anyone with ideas to stop in and see her at the chamber office, located inside the Lucy Bensley Center on North Buffalo Street, during office hours of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. She can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.