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Chamber hires new membership director

When Melissa Beck decided it was time to re-enter the job market after a dozen years, she wanted not only a job but one with an organization "that was heavily involved in the local community."

Her yearlong search ended recently when she was named new membership director for the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.

"I've been out of the workforce 13 years raising children, and now I'm back," she said. "It's exciting."

"She is a native Lawtonian who grew up working in her family's business," said Jamie Southerland, the chamber's interim president and CEO. "This experience will be beneficial in her role as the membership director since she has a clear understanding of the challenges involved in operating a small business. Melissa also understands the significance and rewards of volunteerism, as she is very active in the arts community."

Beck is a native of Lawton and graduated from Lawton High School. Her family operated Helms Jewelry for 61 years, and she worked in the small business until she left Lawton after graduating from Cameron University with a bachelor's degree in English.

Beck said she was looking to work for a "green" company after leaving Cameron and joined Tom's of Maine, which produces natural personal care products, as regional sales representative in New England. She moved back to Lawton in 2004 to begin her family.

For the past 11 years she's served on the board of the Southwest Oklahoma Opera Guild, and she's in her third year with the Arts for All Gala committee.

The Lawton Constitution

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