Jennie Rubek Begins Duties As New Chamber Executive Director
The new executive director of the Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce has hit the ground running.
Jennie (Davis) Rubek spent her first week on the job discussing strategic priorities with members of the chamber board of directors, doing media interviews, meeting chamber members and settling in to her new office. Rubek replaces Rachel Reis who is moving on from the chamber to a position with the Jennie Edmundson Hospital Foundation.
“Obviously, Rachel put into place a ton of awesome opportunities for me to grow from and expand upon,” Rubek said. “I’m excited to grow what she put in place.”
Rubek is an Indiana native but moved to Glenwood as a child after her mother got a federal government job in Omaha.
“We lived in Papillion for a year. Then, she wanted to live in a small town so she literally went on a drive one day and truly stumbled across Glenwood,” Rubek said. “She liked the feel of it and we moved the next year.”
Jennie Davis started eighth grade in Glenwood and graduated from GCHS in 2000. Many Glenwood-area residents know Rubek as the person behind the camera for Jennie Davis Photography. Before accepting the executive director position at the chamber, Rubek most recently worked for Leick Construction. Before that, she did some marketing, advertising and photography work for Jim Hughes Real Estate.
Rubek said she applied for the chamber’s executive director position at the urging of friends and colleagues in the community who believe she is a perfect fit for the job.
“That kind of got my wheels turning and then I wanted to know more about the job and the chamber ,” she said. “Then, I did some research, talked to Rachel – met with her. But, truly, the reason I applied is my love of Mills County and small businesses and I like to connect with people, especially different types of people.
“I do feel like I have a good skill set of being able to talk to trade skill workers as easy as I could talk to a president of a bank,” she conveyed. “I’m able to relate to people well. I understand this position is a lot about relationships.”
Rubek said one of her priorities as executive director will be to get more industry and blue collar-type businesses involved with the chamber.
“I think it would help diversify the membership,” she said. “I think some people think the chamber of commerce is just made up of banks, insurance companies and office people.”
Another major priority for Rubek and the chamber will be to expand the geographical outreach of the organization. Specifically, the chamber wants to have a more visible presence in eastern Mills County.
“I think in the past, Glenwood and western Mills County has kind of been the focus, even though the reach goes out to Emerson, Hastings and Henderson,” she said. “We have plans in place to show eastern Mills County that we are here and will be here for them.”
A third priority for Rubek will be to get more young people under the age of 40 involved in the chamber and the greater Mills County community. She senses a shift in recent years of more young people wanting to have a role in shaping their community.
“We want young people in Mills County and we want them involved in Mills County,” she said.
Rubek is married with two children – Jack Davis, 13, and Joah Davis, 10. Her husband, Nick Rubek, is a banker and sports writer.