Community activist and former Piedmont Board of Education President Lisa Gigstad has been hired as the new executive director of the Piedmont Chamber of Commerce.
She will replace Paisley Hopkins, who is leaving to take over as the chief staff officer of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.
Gigstad will step down from her position as a chamber board member and as First Vice President of the Chamber. She has also served as the Chamber’s Legislative Breakfast Coordinator since 2009.
She served 10 years on the Piedmont school board and was president of the board from 2002 to 2010. For five years, Gigstad also was on the board of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.
A co-founder of the Piedmont Library and Cultural Events Society (PLACES), she served on the PLACES board from 1998 through 2004, and is a graduate of the Piedmont Leadership Academy, Leadership Canadian County and the Oklahoma Community Institute Leadership Academy.
Gigstad was co-director of Planning Piedmont’s Progress (P3) and served a two-year stint on the Piedmont Economic Authority. Additionally, she was active in PTO and served as the Piedmont Elementary PTO Treasurer from 1997 to 2002, and as the Piedmont Middle School PTO Treasurer from 1999 to 2001. She was also a Junior Achievement instructor at Piedmont Middle School from 2005 to 2010.
She is active in her church where she has held a number of positions and is an Oklahoma Czech folk dancer and a singer with the Canterbury Choral Society.
The new chamber director holds an MBA from the University of Chicago with concentrations in finance and marketing, and an MA and BA from the University of Kansas.
Gigstad said she would work hard to support the board and help the chamber achieve its goals. She also said she feels her knowledge of the community and experience as a chamber board member will be useful in helping the chamber implement new programs and “think outside the box to address the difficult problems of a community with a rapidly expanding population but a small business core.”
“We are very pleased to have a person with Lisa’s knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to take over this important chamber position,” said chamber president Darren Owens. “We are very confident she can help the Piedmont chamber go to the next level and be of even more service to our members and the community,” he added.
Owens said he is trying to arrange so that Gigstad and Hopkins can work together at the chamber this week before Hopkins’ final day on Friday.