By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Kristian Bouvier had spent seven years as event coordinator at Chemeketa Community College.
Despite that stability, Bouvier jumped at the chance last fall to apply for the new limited-duration Event Center Coordinator position with the City of Keizer.
Bouvier got the job and started earlier this month. The city has budgeted the position to go through next summer.
So why go from a stable job to one that could last 18 months?
“There are more opportunities for growth here,” Bouvier said last week. “I have a desire to go into marketing. Those are the overall concerns. But to me, the benefits were worth the risk. This is a fabulous opportunity for me to exercise my ability and knowledge. This is a pilot opportunity to bring this center into the community.”
In her new role, Bouvier’s main charge is the marketing, booking and customer service for those renting the Keizer Community Center, or Event Center.
As such, Bouvier is taking over some of the duties formerly held by Tracy Davis, Keizer’s city recorder.
“Once an event is scheduled, Kristian works on room setup, meets people here for the events, takes out the garbage, helps with audio/visual needs; whatever the needs of the client are, she is coordinating that,” Davis said.
In getting up to speed on her tasks, Bouvier has been impressed with what Davis did with the facility, which opened in 2009 but hasn’t been seriously marketed for events until now.
“I’m in awe of what you did, Tracy,” Bouvier said. “You built an amazing foundation.”
For her part, Davis is glad to have someone take over some of her duties.
“I’m happy you are here,” Davis told Bouvier. “This is a great New Year’s present. You are starting out awesome. You are already reaching out to new contacts.”
Bouvier said she was somewhat limited in terms of marketing in her old job.
“The limit here is my own limit,” she said. “I have to play upon my experience in reaching out. It’s very exciting and also intimidating.”
When the topic of marketing the community center was brought up in Keizer City Council meetings last year, a key concern brought up was whether such efforts by the city would interfere with or possibly hurt local businesses going after the same clientele – namely, the city’s only hotel, the Renaissance Inn, located just down the road.
Bouvier emphasized her desire to help out local businesses, not work against them.
“For example, Portland State University is looking for space on a certain date,” she said. “I may be able to accommodate them. But I am letting them know about the Renaissance Inn as well. I want to help other businesses. We have an unwritten rule: if someone has 10 rooms reserved (at Renaissance Inn), I will give their guests a discount here. I want to develop contacts and resources for the hotel as well.”
Now that she’s gotten her feet somewhat wet, Bouvier is looking to expand what she does.
“I’m settling into the room rentals part,” she said. “The next step is how to get the community center out to the community. I’m reaching out to old contacts.”
Before interviewing for her current position, Bouvier hadn’t stepped into the Keizer Community Center. She likes what she has to sell.
“I was very surprised at what it was like,” she said. “I stepped back and said, ‘Whoa, oh my goodness.’ It’s so beautiful, with so many possibilities. I don’t want to ever lose that feeling. I hope to convey that ‘ahhh’ factor.”