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New Chamber director embraces industry standards, educational opportunities

Barbara Tuccitto Warren

Barbara Tuccitto Warren was on the job less than a week when she jumped right into planning the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce's annual awards gala.

The new executive director didn't waste any time after that either - she began studying the budget, looked at adding much needed technology upgrades and shared current industry guidelines with the 16-member board of directors, executive committee and staff.

"My energy will be spent in bringing the industry standards and best practices to the organization," she said. "Are we functioning at a high level?"

Tuccitto Warren has worked in the chamber of commerce industry for 15 years and ran her own management consulting firm where she worked with state and government agencies.

Her long-term goal for the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce is to be consistent with the organization's bylaws as well as helping committees and staff function as efficiently as possible, she said.

She created a five-page organizational profile that measures the organization's operations and determines what it's doing well and what needs improvement.

"We have to pretty much rate ourselves and that will determine where our strengths and weaknesses are," she said.

After looking at the Chamber's budget, she said members of the organization have made good decisions and she looks forward to contributing to the success of the organization and growing the membership.

"The budget is very fiscally responsible," she said. "The board of directors and executive committee have done a very good job."

But there are a number of educational opportunities that Tuccitto Warren wants to bring to the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce.

She hopes to invite professionals to speak on various topics that teach local businesses about things they may not necessarily have time for, such as human resources and finance.

"It's not a rare thing in chambers," she said. "It's a common (series of) events."

When Tuccitto Warren ran her own consulting firm, she had clients in community health, school districts and public safety and she was the executive director for the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education for three years.

She said it's important for the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce to be the eyes and ears of local businesses when it comes to public policy changes at the state and federal levels.

"We work on behalf of the business community in that area," she said, adding that she hopes to work with the organization in voicing concerns to local legislators that may sway their votes one way or another.

"I want to bring attention to public policy issues that would affect our businesses," she said.

Tuccitto Warren grew up in South St. Paul and has family ties to the Woodbury community.

Her nieces were part of the royal family in 2005 and her father was also a Woodbury resident.

A dancer and big movie buff, Tuccitto Warren enjoyed coming on at the tail end of gala planning that featured ballroom dancing and live music.

The Chamber's Executive Committee Chairwoman Heidi Bardwell said Tuccitto Warren's experience and vision for the chamber stood out among the other candidates.

"She was definitely our candidate that certainly goes above and beyond with experience," Bardwell said. "She brings a wealth of information to our chamber and will continue to let our chamber grow."

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.