The Chamber Review January/February 2019 - Page 17

THE CHAMBER REVIEW | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

AN INTERVIEW WITH...SHANON MERKEL

Vacation Specialist at Dapple Destinations,

Clovis Chamber Ambassador Committee

Shanon was raised in Clovis and lives here with her husband Clay. She loves living in Clovis and especially having her family nearby. Shanon has two beautiful daughters, Nicole and Samantha, and two precious little grandchildren, Carter and Reagan.

After 15 years in management at Community Hospital, she decided to follow her dream of becoming a full-time travel agent and has truly enjoyed the adventure. In December of 2018, after almost three years working for her sister's franchise, Shanon decided the time was right to invest in her own Dream Vacations franchise. Her agency is home based, which requires a lot of discipline, but gives the flexibility in scheduling to dedicate some time to working in the community and supporting the Clovis Chamber of Commerce.

Being the best at what I do has always been important to me, and now that it involves helping other families create memories, that is especially true. I am currently working on a certification as a certified travel associate and plan to follow that up with a certified travel counselor certification.

By Sheldon C. Baker, CEO, Baker-Dillon Group

CC: What do you enjoy about being the Chamber Ambassador Secretary?

Ms. Merkel: I really enjoy the camaraderie we share and getting to know all of our ambassadors a little better. The ambassadors are a great group of fun people who really care about their community, and I feel honored to be a part of such an amazing group.

CC: Why did you join the Chamber and how long have you been a member?

Ms. Merkel: I joined in May of 2017 and have been a member for two years now. I joined the Chamber to meet other business owners and grow my network.

CC: Being a Chamber member, does your company gain a competitive business advantage?

Ms. Merkel: I've met a lot of people and I am now recognized by many business owners in the area. I'm building my network and that has been a great benefit to my business.

CC: What advice do you give fellow business owners about joining the Chamber?

Ms. Merkel: Joining the Chamber is a great way to support your local community. Participating in Chamber events can help you get yourself out in the community and share who you are and what you do. I've lived in Clovis most of my life and it surprises me that there are so many businesses I didn't even know existed, and without the Chamber, I may have never known about them. I use the Clovis Chamber Directory often when I am looking for a particular service.

CC: If you could get one hour of complimentary business guidance from a fellow chamber member, what would you discuss?

Ms. Merkel: I'm always looking for creative ways to grow my business. Travel is a unique opportunity to build relationships with your customer base, and finding those opportunities to collaborate with other businesses will be a big focus for me this year.