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Wadena Chamber of Commerce hires new executive director

Jed Brazier is the new executive director of the Wadena Chamber of Commerce. He started his new job May 14. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

A film fan from Fargo is the new executive director of the Wadena Chamber of Commerce.

The 38-year-old Jed Brazier took on the new role Monday, May 14, and was out visiting chamber businesses throughout the community this week. Brazier replaces long-time director Shirley Uselman, who retired at the end of April after 19 years.

Originally from Greenbush, Minn., Brazier comes to Wadena by way of Fargo but says he has found a place to live here in Wadena. Brazier attended Minnesota State University Moorhead where he studied Film Production and English. He is a lifelong fan of film.

After college, he spent several years behind the scenes in the film and television industry in the Twin Cities before returning to the Fargo-Moorhead area specializing in video production as well as freelancing as a social media consultant for local businesses. Most recently, he worked as Marketing Manager at Fargo Air Museum for the better part of three years.

One of the more exciting jobs he was involved in was the filming of the Prairie Home Companion movie, including working as actor Woody Harrelson's handler, and working behind the scenes to help bring the film together, Brazier said.

A firm believer in being of service, Brazier has volunteered with several charitable organizations and is currently a board member of the Community Uplift Project in Fargo. Weekends most often find him spending time with his two children, an 8-year-old boy and 5-month-old daughter, practicing photography, hunting for "treasure" at used book stores or taking in a movie. He very much looks forward to becoming a part of the Wadena community.

"This is something new but I am excited," Brazier said of the position, which is in place to help grow the communities and support area business. Brazier's marketing and social media skills will come in to play in this role and he hopes that his video skills can also be an asset to members of the Chamber of Commerce.

"I'm in the process of evaluating what the Chamber has offered its members in the past and finding a way to update, modernize and make that a much more worthwhile thing," Brazier said.

Brazier sees this position as a good fit for him and looks forward to helping the Wadena area move into the future.

"I think people are going to look back a year from now and say 'oh wow, they actually did some really cool stuff,' and I'm really excited for that," Brazier said.

The mission statement of the Chamber is "We are partners in the success of our businesses and our members." The Chamber is a 501(C)(6) and not a branch of city government. The Chamber's annual goals and operations are set by a governing board made up of citizens from member businesses. They have regularly scheduled meetings with businesses as well as with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to review and recap monthly activities.

The Chamber office is located at 5 Aldrich Ave SE and you can reach Brazier at 218-632-7704.

Michael Johnson

Johnson is a graduate of Verndale Public School. He earned his associate's degree from Central Lakes College with an emphasis in English and natural resources. He earned his bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he graduated cum laude in 2008. While there, he double-majored in English and Print Journalism. He's reported for The Advocate, student newspaper of MSUM; The Barnesville Record Review in Barnesville, Minn.; Clay County Historical Society in Moorhead, Minn.; Gillette News Record in Gillette Wyo.; Underwood News in Underwood, N.D.; and The Leader-News in Washburn, N.D. and the Brainerd Dispatch in Brainerd, Minn. Johnson has worked as a reporter for the Pioneer Journal and Perham Focus since Nov. 2017.

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