Whenever someone calls or visits the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, chances are good that Emily A. Mason is the first person to greet them.
And when alliance members pay their annual dues, Kate Comer processes the transaction.
Mason, the organizational administrator, and Comer, the office manager, are the two newest alliance employees.
They're filling positions that were vacant, according to Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the economic and community development agency.
He added that even with the two new hires and the eventual selection of a community development director, the alliance will have one less employee than the two organizations it replaced, the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce and the Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County.
Plautz said he plans to cross train and ''cross involve everyone in the office in the things that we do'' to create an efficient organization.
Emily A. Mason
While Mason will do receptionist duties, she'll also be assisting in many facets of the alliance's operation. Her work will include planning special events and projects, managing a plan room where contractors can view blueprints of upcoming construction projects in Fort Dodge, and assisting with marketing efforts. Her major assignment so far has been planning the group's March 11 annual meeting.
She began working for the alliance on Jan. 17.
Mason is a native of Fort Dodge who graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High School. She earned an associate's degree from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, then earned a bachelor's degree in human sciences from Iowa State University in Ames. Her courses at Iowa State included event planning and hospitality training.
Most recently, she worked in the floral department at Hy-Vee in Fort Dodge.
''I wanted to be a little bit more involved in the community and take on a job that had a little more responsibility,'' she said.
She is married to Dr. Zach Mason.
Comer is creating a unified financial management system from those of the chamber and development corporation, which had different fiscal years and payment processes.
''I'm just excited to get this place on track,'' she said.
Her specific duties include processing membership payments, managing accounts receivable and accounts payable, handling insurance, and personnel management. When the alliance relocates to its new office at 24 N. Ninth St., she will manage the building.
Comer joined the staff of the alliance on Feb. 4.
She is a native of Bowling Green, Ky. She earned a bachelor's degree in finance with a concentration in financial management from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
She started her career as an accounting clerk at a food distribution company in Kentucky. She moved to Fort Dodge in September 2012. Comer worked at Van Diest Supply Co. in Webster City before joining the alliance.