Sarah Jennings-Trustem has been named Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce executive director.

Trustem is a social studies teacher at Dickinson High School and has served as a Dickinson city commissioner since 2016.

Concluding the months-long search for a new director, Katie Culver, Chamber president, lauded the selection.

"She is a wonderful choice," Culver said. "She's passionate about both the community and the chamber."

Trustem said she is excited to take on the new role.

"It's an opportunity to pursue a dream I've had for a long time," she said. "This was always the kind of career path I've wanted to take."

Trustem has long admired the work done by the chamber and served before as a volunteer.

"The beauty of the chamber is, its goal is to make this community great and make sure businesses thrive," she said. "That's our No. 1 mission, is to make sure the community is thriving and so are our businesses here."

In addition to guiding the chamber toward better serving the community and its businesses, Trustem wants the chamber to take on greater challenges.

An immediate focus for Trustem is attracting more volunteers.

"I'm really going to focus on membership relationships and really scouting for the next faces of the Dickinson chamber," she said.

Trustem also wants to inspire local youth to become more involved.

"Hopefully we can really open the chamber up to more young people," she said. "I want to engage young leaders and really bring them out and show them we don't have to be retired or well-off to be a bigger part of the community. They're just as valuable as everybody else."

Having accepted the new position, Trustem will be leaving DHS on Jan. 12, where she has been teaching through an alternate-access license.

Trustem called the resignation "bittersweet."

"Because I would have to return to school, I think it was just a better decision for my family to start seeking opportunities that more aligned with the education I already had," she said.

Trustem will continue to serve as a city commissioner.

"There's no government funding being received (by the chamber)," she said, "so I will still be able to continue my position."

Trustem is not daunted by the challenges ahead.

"I have built some really great relationships in this community so I'm hoping to enrich those and build some more," she said. "I'm very excited about it."

Trustem is scheduled to start as chamber director on Monday, Jan. 15.