STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Patti Zinsmeyer is resigning as executive director of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau effective Dec. 31.
The resignation was announced Dec. 10, although she had told chamber leadership her decision Nov. 29.
Zinsmeyer, who was promoted to the role in February 2016, will now have time to spend with family and traveling to see grandchildren, who all live out of the state.
“It’s more free time for me,” Zinsmeyer said. “My husband is a private pilot, and we have our own little airplane. I’m going to be more available for traveling with him.”
After Dec. 31, Zinsmeyer and the chamber board have agreed that she will remain the executive director in a part-time capacity until a replacement is hired.
The board will conduct the search for a new executive director, and Zinsmeyer will remain when the new director is hired to help with the transition.
“I’ve really enjoyed working for the chamber and visitors center. I’ve met some very smart and talented people, and I will miss all of them,” she said. “At the same time, they’re not getting rid of me that quick.”
Because the chamber puts on multiple events a year that require planning up to a year in advance, her announcement caught some people by surprise because she’s still making plans for events in 2019.
“I’ve been talking to people about events in this coming year as if I’ll be here at that time,” Zinsmeyer said.
She could say it’s not her problem, but, in her words, she’s “doing it because it’s for the best of the chamber.”
Zinsmeyer has been executive director during a time the city has seen significant changes. The LakeFest boat races were canceled this year, but the chamber has added the Marble Falls Music Festival while growing events such as MayFest and Walkway of Lights.
“She is very detail-oriented and did a great job of helping us put together a standard operating procedure for all of our events and getting those to a place where it was all written down and organized,” said chamber President Taylor Smith. “She was not afraid to take on a challenge and work very hard.”
Outside of large public events, Zinsmeyer has been part of updating the chamber’s dues structure, which hasn’t been changed in at least 25 years.
“I feel like the changing of the dues structure was such a big thing and that it took a lot of our membership coordinator, Sarah Cummings, a lot of research on her part. She spent months coming up with that,” Zinsmeyer said. “I’m very proud of that and look forward to seeing how that develops.”
The chamber has added a position during Zinsmeyer’s tenure, a social media and digital coordinator, as well as bi-monthly coffee breaks, a monthly jackpot at chamber mixers, and a new website, and renamed the chamber directory to “The Link.”
“I’ve seen a lot of growth and changes. The town is evolving. I have a higher regard and respect for those that are in the middle of change and those that can manage it,” Zinsmeyer said of the larger Marble Falls landscape.
Taylor said the chamber board will work to post the job opening in the coming weeks and find a replacement as quickly as possible.
“I’m looking forward to see who will step into her shoes and lead us into the future,” Smith said.
Some of the qualities the board will seek are experience running events and an ability to build relationships with members and local officials.
Zinsmeyer, in stepping back, won’t completely step out of the community.
“Even after working part time, I can still see myself here,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of friends, and this is still the shopping hub of the Hill Country. Obviously, I will be back for some of that as well as this being the place to find a good restaurant.”