WARSAW — Jennifer Kerns has dual roles at the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce. She is the Main Street coordinator and is the chamber’s member relations manager.
A 2011 graduate of Tippcanoe Valley High School, Kerns, 25, grew up in the Akron and Mentone area. She has three siblings and was in 4-H for 10 years, doing 12 to 15 4-H projects each year. She played basketball and volleyball and contributed in various leadership positions for FFA.
“I’ve always been driven,” she smiled. “I was an overachiever.”
Kerns received her bachelor’s of science degrees in both marketing and business administration in 2014, with additional education in public relations, public speaking and leadership. In September 2013, she began an internship at the chamber, serving as an administrative assistant. Once she graduated from Grace College, she was offered a full-time job at the chamber.
She became the Main Street coordinator for Warsaw Community Development Corporation in January 2015 and facilitates the facade grant for downtown Warsaw.
“I make sure vacancy is low,” she said.
She connects business owners to building owners to ensure vacancy is decreased. She serves as the liaison for the downtown businesses and building owners.
“If you have a vibrant downtown, then the town is thriving,” she said. “I want to be a resource for the community.”
Kerns is currently working to bring two businesses to downtown Warsaw. She was promoted to the chamber’s member relations manager in December 2016. The chamber has just under 600 members.
“I want to build a relationship with members,” she said.
In her current role, Kerns is responsible for serving existing members, as well as growing the chamber’s membership. Most days, she is usually making calls and answering emails. However, she said, “I’m more of a face-to-face person. I’m driven by people.”
Kerns said retention has become better since she joined the chamber.
“The most important thing is relationships,” Kerns stressed.
She married husband, Joel, in January 2016, and they live in Warsaw. They attend Warsaw First United Methodist Church’s The Connection, and work out at the YMCA in Warsaw every day. She enjoys fishing, snapping photos, reading, spending time with friends and family and paddle boarding. Kerns is a Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club board of directors member. She will graduate from Kosciusko Leadership Academy this year.