Taryn Latour is a community and family-oriented individual. And being around people is how she said she best fits in.
It comes is no surprise then that the Lodi native has embraced her role as the new Chamber Coordinator for the Lodi & Lake Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce. She was hired in July.
During her first few months in the position she organized Susie the Duck Days, the annual Brew-B-Que Downtown Block Party and even the chamber’s first-ever job fair.
And she said she’s received good feedback from the community thus far, even though she said Mandy Sitzman, the former chamber coordinator, left her some large shoes to fill.
The two are best friends, however, and help is available whenever Latour needs it, she said.
Latour’s cell phone rang, the caller ID reading Sitzman’s name.
Latour ignored the call and said they would probably talk later since they communicated regularly, as best friends do.
She grew up in Lodi until she was in sixth grade. After that point, she moved to Poynette where she graduated from Poynette High School in 2009. Latour attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point that autumn where she studied physical therapy and played soccer.
However, she only stayed there for two years. Latour said she started to miss her family, so she moved back to Poynette to be closer to them and attend school at Madison Area Technical College for another year.
“After my sister had her second baby, I was really missing home,” Latour said.
After Latour finished another year, she worked for Kiddie Korner, a daycare center in Lodi for five years. She was still living in Poynette at the time.
“I really enjoyed my time here in Lodi,” Latour said. “I got to know a lot of people in the community and a lot of parents with their kids.”
She also rekindled a relationship with her longtime high school friend, and now fiancé, Derek Childs. They have a daughter together who will turn 3 this month.
After working for Kiddie Korner, Latour found a sales position with Patio Pleasures, a company in Sun Prairie that sells hot tubs, pools and other furniture. For a time, she said she had considered a career in sales, but she longed to be with her daughter and fiancé, just as she had missed her family in college.
That longing drove her to apply for her current position when it opened up. After enduring long, taxing hours working a job in retail, Latour said she was ready for more flexibility.
As chamber coordinator, she now works around 20 hours a week as compared to the 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. shifts she used to work.
And she said she quite enjoys organizing chamber events, promoting chamber members and getting to know the community. She wants to expand the position just as Sitzman did, she said, and she wants to especially focus on the importance of shopping local.