Photojournalist Jim Lavrakas is well-known to many Alaskans for his 30-year career with the Anchorage Daily News but since moving to Homer in 2010, Lavrakas has also been involved with the Homer Chamber of Commerce. This August, he’s set to become the organization’s executive director.
Lavrakas was officially named chamber director last week. He says chief among his main priorities is to find new ways for the chamber to keep a steady stream of revenue to fund its various projects.
"To look at how we're doing financially and looking forward to the next ... five years and how we can better finance the chamber and all it's needs," he said.
While he does have plans of his own, Lavrakas says he also intends to continue many of the ideas and programs put into practice by the chamber’s current Executive Director Monte Davis, including the annual Homer Shopping Derby and the concept of "Homer bucks," that can only be spent at local businesses.
Lavrakas also says he plans to invest more energy into local attractions that have a history in Homer and are known to bring people in from out of town, including the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Spit.
"I hope to reclaim that old glory of the Fishing Hole and that will benefit everybody here in town," he said.
While Lavrakas admitted the executive director position can sometimes be a thankless job he is still excited to take it on, comparing the proceedings of the chamber to being like his experiences working in the newsroom of the ADN.
Lavrakas is set to take over the job in August.