Lynn Brocato begins job as new director of the Seaford Chamber

By Lynn R. Parks

The Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce has a new director. Lynn Brocato took over last week from Paula Gunson, who retired Dec. 31, 2013, after 14 years in the position.

Brocato, most recently a team leader with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Salisbury, Md., said that she wants to be the kind of advocate for local business owners that Gunson was for her. Brocato joined the chamber when she was an account executive for Comcast Spotlight and Gunson got me to the next level of success, she said. I hope that I can be that kind of person, who does that for business owners and helps their business grow. Paula cared about people and wanted people to succeed, and I want to be that kind of director.

She envisions the chamber as a liaison between businesses and the rest of the community. I would like to see the chamber serve as a resource of support, providing promotion, direction and guidance, she said. The chamber could be the place where business owners who are considering moving to western Sussex County come for information about the areas demographics as well as for details about how to apply for necessary permits, she said.

I also see us working with other chambers in the area to promote tourism, she added.

Brocato hopes to make the chamber office, located on High Street in downtown Seaford, more customer friendly, she said. She plans to move her desk to the front of the office, so that people walking by can see that she is in. She also plans to set up the office so that it can accommodate chamber committee meetings.

We want people to feel like they can come to the chamber office to meet and discuss things that they want to discuss, she said.

To enhance that friendly feel, the chamber is going to invite member businesses to put displays in its front windows. The displays will rotate on a monthly basis.

At the same time, Brocato plans to spend two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, out of the office, meeting with business leaders. Im going to be doing a lot of outreach in the community, she said.

That will be in part to boost chamber membership, which stands at 275. We want to grow that, she said.

Brocato wants to increase the number of after business hour mixers that the chamber sponsors. She also wants to enhance the chambers relationship with area nonprofit organizations. We are going to give them the opportunity to have a voice, said Brocato, who was community development coordinator with the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore from 2000 through 2002.

Brocato, 45, grew up in Baltimore County and graduated from the Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson in 1986. She has a bachelors degree in business with a concentration in finance from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, (1990) and a master of business administration degree, concentration in marketing, from Loyola College, Baltimore, (1997). She became a licensed real estate agent in 2003 and a licensed real estate broker in 2006.

She lives in Newark, Md. Her husband, Joe Showacre, is a teacher for Wicomico County Public Schools. She has two adult step-children.

Brocato joined the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce in August 2010 and became chairwoman of the member services committee a few months after that.

I wanted a way to introduce myself to the Seaford community and to build my business contacts, she said. But the more that I got involved, the more that I fell in love with the people, the town and the community, and with the chambers efforts to build economic development for everyone.

One of her first acts as chamber director, she said, will be to conduct a membership survey, which she hopes to get on the chambers website sometime this month.

I really want to reach out to the membership, to find out what we can do to help them, she said. What kind of resources do they want us to provide?

Brocato is anxious to get started in her new job. I am looking forward to digging in and working with local businesses to improve things in western Sussex County, she said.

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