Pawhuska Chamber names new executive director

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

A former rodeo queen, Joni Nash, has been selected as new executive director for the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, officials announced Thursday.

Nash is currently a manager for the American Cancer Society in the Oklahoma City area, but she is expected to take her new position on March 23. She will be replacing Michael McCartney, who became Pawhuska City Manager seven months ago.

Prior to earning degrees from Oklahoma State University and Southwest Christian University, Nash represented her home state as Miss Rodeo Georgia at the National Finals Rodeo. She is no stranger to Pawhuska, having served as a judge for the International Roundup Clubs’ Cavalcade queen contest in 2013 and 2014.

Now, the “active horse enthusiast” will be heavily involved with coordinating the week-long amateur rodeo. She was chosen for the Chamber directorship following state and national recruiting efforts by local officials. Nash said she “fell in love” with the town the moment she received her “Welcome to Pawhuska” hospitality basket at her first Cavalcade.

“I could see myself being a part of this community,” she was quoted as saying of her initial visit.

Nash is expected to be in town Thursday for the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “Food for Thought” luncheon event from 11:30-1 p.m. at the Pawhuska Business Development Center.

Over the past decade, Nash has been involved in a variety of service-type work. As a Victory Church associate pastor, she was responsible for recruiting and coordinating volunteers at the Oklahoma City mega church.

She also served as an executive with the Oklahoma chapter of Safari Club International.

Nash also operates as an independent-contract auctioneer specializing in benefit and non-profit fundraisers. In this capacity, she has been involved with the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Easter Seals, the Mark Harmon Project, Tulsa Boys Home, the National Wild Turkey Federation, International Professional Rodeo Association and Ducks Unlimited.

Nash’s official arrival in Pawhuska will be just before the annual Chamber Gala. Officials said this should provide a perfect opportunity for everyone to meet the new director and welcome her to town. To obtain tickets for the March 27 event, persons can contact the Chamber office at 210 W. Main or by calling 918-287-1208.