Ryan Kingsella ’16 and Allison Kingsella ’17 didn’t wait until after graduating from WOU to make their mark on the local community. The couple, who married in 2015, has led the charge to work with area businesses, law enforcement agencies and residents.
Ryan took over as executive director of the Monmouth and Independence Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center (MICC) in January. Though his company, Genesis Marketing, was just a year old, chamber businesses elected him to lead the group. Ryan, who studied early childhood education, touts his unique blend of talents as the reason he was ideal for the post.
“It just happened that the job requirements matched the skills I’ve gained over the years,” he said. His background includes event promotion and website development.
Meanwhile, Allison has made her own niche in the community. She worked with local police departments to create a placard for deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers. Modeled after similar programs in Cincinnati and Washington, D.C., the cards guide both officers and drivers through positive communication practices in the event that the driver is pulled over. The card is available at the Monmouth, Independence and Dallas police stations as well as the MICC.
“I think it’s pretty fantastic,” said Allison Kingsella, an ASL minor. “Seeing it take hold in our community is exciting. And humbling, really.”
Update from the Polk County Itemizer-Observer:
Vikkye Fetters ’13, Western Oregon University alumna and Oregon native, has been hired as the new MICC executive director and has already begun her post.