Contributed by the Auburn Chamber of Commerce
The Auburn Chamber of Commerce has made recent changes with the promotion of Crystal McKelvy and the addition of three team members. McKelvy, former resource specialist, has been a member of the Auburn Chamber staff for three years and has been promoted to the position of event services coordinator.
From accepting reservations for events, planning and executing the logistics of our programs and ensuring that our sponsors’ expectations are met, McKelvy oversees all things associated with the chamber’s events and programs.
She manages the Diplomat Program, schedules ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking celebrations and helps keep the website calendar updated. McKelvy volunteers in the Auburn community with various organizations to include Auburn-Opelika Tourism.
“Every day at the chamber is a gift,” McKelvy said. “Providing educational and networking opportunities for our membership is very rewarding.”
Prior to joining the Chamber, McKelvy served as the vice president of D Square Donuts, opened in Auburn by her family in 2009 and later sold in 2018. Originally from Northwest Florida, McKelvy and her family moved to Auburn from Pintlala in 2010 and have called Auburn “home” ever since.
Ivy Harris, communications manager, is responsible for overseeing all chamber messaging and branding, and is also the designer for all event collateral, programs and communications. From photography to social media, Harris coordinates the many efforts to engage with our members through all of the chamber’s marketing channels.
She brings a diverse background in advertising with a focus on branding and corporate identity, publication design and web development to the chamber. Harris recently returned home to Auburn after being away for 22 years.
“There is just something about Auburn that draws people home,” she said. “It is a special place, and I am excited to be involved with the community that I grew up in. I am grateful to be in a position that can help support businesses in the city that I love.”
Prior to joining the Chamber team, Harris worked as a public communications specialist for Pasco County, Florida, managing the design and development of various public outreach programs. A graduate of Auburn High School and Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual communications, she is excited about the opportunity to make an impact in her hometown.
The Auburn Chamber welcomed Katie Murray back in a new role as the Auburn Young Professionals (AYP) program coordinator. She is the face of the program and leads all initiatives to include recruitment of new members, retention of existing members, leadership of committee meetings and members and the development and execution of new or existing events/programs.
In addition, she manages all of the AYP social media.
Prior to returning to the chamber, Murray worked for AuburnBank in the loan department.
“I am excited to be back at the Auburn Chamber in this new role,” Murray said.
Aside from being involved in AYP and winning the Connect Award in 2019, Murray has been involved with various organizations around town to include the United Way as a loaned executive for the past two campaigns. Most recently, she served as a member of the Junior Council for Storybook Farm.
“I have a passion for giving back to the community that has given me so much,” Murray said. “I value AYP for the connections and professional development that the program has given me and look forward to making the same opportunities possible for our new and existing members. I was born and raised in Auburn. Auburn raised me and I look forward to playing a small part in making our community better than it has ever been.
“My claim to fame was twirling in Jordan-Hare Stadium as an Auburn University Majorette in 2008 and I still enjoy teaching in our community to this day.”
Kimberly VanderWal, resource specialist, is the host of the building. VanderWal is the first face of the organization and the voice on the phone. She is available to provide referrals, share information and assist with meeting space requests and needs.
Additionally, VanderWal creates the weekly Tuesday electronic newsletter, assists with writing and special projects, and is eager to help with any questions.
Prior to joining the Chamber, she served as a marketing and communications intern for the Alabama Association of REALTORS® assisting in managing all social media channels, creating graphics and writing newsletter articles.
VanderWal is a recent graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and a minor in theater. While in college, she was a member of the Auburn University Marching Band and played the alto saxophone.
“Being in the band taught me how to work in a team of 380 musicians, how to be tenacious and what passion feels like,” VanderWal said.
Aside from the marching band, she was also very involved in the Auburn University Theatre and performed in multiple shows in both ensemble and lead roles. The chamber is excited about the energy and creative writing that she brings to the team.