The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce brought home the local chamber of the year award last week. The Alaska Chamber of Commerce awarded Wrangell Executive Director, Cyni Crary, the honor at its annual fall forum in Kenai.

Cyni Crary holding the local chamber of the year award.

Cyni Crary holding the local chamber of the year award.

Crary said this was the first time someone from the Wrangell Chamber attended the event and winning came as a surprise.

“I knew we had been nominated, but I didn’t realize that we were going to win by any

means,” she said.

The award highlights the Chamber’s work in the community, and most notably its events.

“The Chamber puts on the salmon derby, the Fourth of July,” said Crary. “The queen contest has boasted record sales. This year was obviously our biggest yet. That is absolutely worth mentioning and has put us in the radar of other communities.”

Crary has been working with the Chamber for about five years and said changing the way membership had been done was one of the key improvements.

“I changed it to a teared system which I realized at this conference that I was one of the first in the state to implement that which was pretty exciting to hear,” she said.

And going to that system has bolstered membership, making the Chamber’s services available to businesses of all sizes.

“On the lowest level, the main thing you get is being part of our map, the Chamber membership map, which is given to all of our visitors that come into Wrangell,” said Crary.

The map of Wrangell features all member businesses and provides a way for them to access the tourism industry. Crary said that all of the improvements and events wouldn’t be possible without the community’s support.

As for things to look forward to, she said Chamber will release a series of promotional videos of Wrangell in the spring.