Fallon Chamber director leaves for Lake Tahoe
The executive director of the Fallon Chamber of Commerce has traded the high desert for the Sierra Nevada by accepting a position at Tahoe City, Calif.
Natalie Parrish, who has been with the Fallon chamber since May 2011, began her new position Monday as the membership sales and service manager at the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.
This marks the second resignation in November of a director of an agency promoting Fallon and the county.
Rachel Dahl, executive director of the Churchill Economic Development Authority, left her position to accept a similar one in Mesquite, a growing southern Nevada community of 24,000 residents 90 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Dahl had headed CEDA since March 2014.
As for her new role, Parrish said the position allows her room to move up with the NLT Chamber.
“I wanted to spread out and expand. This is a new challenge,” Parrish said, adding she left the Fallon chamber in good shape, and it was time to move on.
Parrish will be responsible for enhancing the current membership and signing up more businesses with the NLT chamber.
She said five years as Fallon’s executive director went by quickly.
“I’ll miss Fallon, the people,” she said. “I have a lot of friends and family (there). Fallon is my hometown.”
Five years ago, Parrish was in the right place at the right time, said former board president Christy Lattin when Parrish was hired.
“Natalie brings a strong understanding of Fallon’s economy and business climate to the Chamber and will be an asset as we take the steps needed to revitalize our organization,” Lattin said.
With Parrish at Lake Tahoe, her former assistant, Lucy Carnahan, will serve as interim Fallon director.
Parrish said she is proud of the accomplishments undertaken by the chamber’s Board of Directors under her guidance.
“The board was able to bring the chamber out of the red and into the black,” she said.
By doing so, Parrish said the chamber continued its role and support for the Fallon businesses and to promote the city along with the Churchill Economic Development Authority and the Fallon Convention Tourism Authority.
Three years go, she said the chamber teamed up with FCTA to promote the area businesses through Live Local Fallon, a program to keep customers in Churchill County to do their shopping or dining. The goal of Live Local Fallon is to reward residents for supporting local establishments.
Parrish was also a strong voice for encouraging residents to shop locally during the holiday through Black Friday and Small Business Saturday promotion, a growing trend in sales that began in 2010, two days after Thanksgiving.
Always one for developing programs to make Fallon a better place to live, Parrish said the chamber developed a Travel Club and also the Ambassador program.
Parrish, along with her board, conducted scores of ribbon cuttings and grand openings in the last five years, including the last one on Saturday at Country Health.
Parrish, a 2000 graduate of Churchill County High School, attended Masters College in California.
Before accepting the chamber position, Parrish served as an employment coordinator for a grant program administered by the Churchill County Social Services Department and CEDA. She also worked as a print and internet account executive with the Lahontan Valley News.
Parrish was an active member of the Downtown Merchants Association and a key player along with Dahl in bringing the Fallon Farmers Market back to the downtown corridor.
A volunteer board of directors who oversee functions to help support more than 200 member businesses in Fallon, Churchill County and the surrounding area leads the nonprofit Fallon Chamber of Commerce.