Ahlfenger named new Chamber Director

by Toni Hopper
Destiny Ahlfenger steps into Executive Director role for Marlow Chamber of Commerce. Destiny Ahlfenger steps into Executive Director role for Marlow Chamber of Commerce.

Just before the cold front arrived Tuesday evening, Destiny Ahlfenger was busy distributing flyers for the free Christmas dinner that is held each year at the county fairgrounds. It’s just one of the many tasks she is juggling in her new position as Executive Director for the Marlow Chamber of Commerce.

The other more pressing issue is the annual Christmas Parade that Marlow will host this Saturday.

Ahlfenger is honored to be trusted with her new position in the community.

“Marlow is my hometown, it’s where we send our children to school so being a part of my community is very important,” she said. Ahlfenger is no stranger to Main Streets, as she was the director for Main Street Duncan for seven and a half years. She submitted her resignation in December 2021 with it effective in late January 2022.
“My time at Main Street Duncan was well served and prepared me for a position such as this.”

She has stepped into a role that was held by Debbe Ridley since 1987, who officially retired last month. Ahlfenger describes her first few weeks as a whirlwind.

“Meeting folks, visiting with people I’ve known for decades, reminiscing about days past, and learning about what was, has been exciting. I’m still getting my feet underneath me but by January, I will be settled in and prepared.”

She works directly with the Chamber board and its members and everyone is looking forward to the future, including some changes.

“I’ve been asked about the ideas I have. And while I have many, it’s much more important to know what ideas the community has,” Ahlfenger said.

“The community isn’t just chamber members which is a distinction that is imperative to this process. I’d like to survey our community and that includes the kids, those in the nursing homes, those having coffee, etc. Yes, I have some fun ideas but adding to the quality of life to our community is one of the top priorities.”

That’s one of the reasons she was distributing flyers for business owners to post in their windows.

“It’s a free dinner and there’s a lot of people who need help.” She admits to enjoying the task of flyer distribution since it gives her a chance to connect with the merchants and community residents.

In regards to the chamber’s membership base, she said that has been changing weekly since she has been on the job.

“I hope to report a number at the banquet in April,” she said. “Yes, there are members outside of the Marlow Business District - living or owning a business in Marlow is not a requirement for membership.” Many individuals, within and outside of the community, are also members of the Chamber. “In the future, we look forward to bringing back the variety of committees, offering volunteer opportunities, and making a seat for everybody at the table -that’s the immediate goal.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Chamber, you can email or call Ahlfenger at marlowchamber@gmail.com (580) 658-2212. The Chamber office is located at 223 W. Main.

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