Hannah Stella: Supporting the Community
If an advertisement for an Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce event has caught your eye in recent months, it’s all thanks to Hannah Stella.
Hannah joined the Chamber as the marketing coordinator last summer after searching for jobs in marketing. An open position at the Old Saybrook Chamber caught her eye.
“I was looking at marketing positions, and I love their commitment to the community and the support they have for the businesses,” Hannah says.
Hannah officially came aboard in July.
“I help create our ads [and] newsletter; I do our social media stuff and our magazine that just launched,” she says.
Promoting the places to go and things to do in town is essential to the Chamber’s mission. As the marketing coordinator, Hannah is hard at work spreading the news about one of the most popular annual events in town: Chili Fest.
For more than 25 years, Chili Fest has been an annual tradition, pitting local chefs head-to-head. Chefs man tables up and down Main Street, serving chili in competition for the title of Best Chili. A public vote selects winners, and money raised goes to various charitable endeavors. This year, Chili Fest is on Saturday, March 4, from noon to 3 p.m.
“We also have women in business luncheons and annual chamber meetings, too, coming up,” says Hannah.
Hannah’s journey to her current position began with a love of art.
“I originally went to school to be an art teacher,” she recalls. However, during her studies, Hannah had a change of heart. “In taking my education classes, I felt like teaching just wasn’t for me, so I had a last-minute change to marketing,” she says.
After completing a course in marketing, Hannah says she’s able to combine her interest in marketing with her longtime love of art, particularly when she’s helping design advertisements for businesses.
“I was able to really benefit from working with people in the community and the businesses here,” Hannah explains.
Asked what she likes most about working with the chamber, Hannah chuckles and says, “There’s a lot!”
“Honestly, I love being in the office and working with the people here or when people come in and have questions and helping them,” she says.
In particular, Hannah says that given the chamber’s location at 1 Main Street, she can observe the activities in town, whether that’s people popping into stores and restaurants or folks on their way to an event.
“Coming from a town that isn’t Old Saybrook, it was great to get to see it all in action and how invested people are in the community,” says Hannah.
Of course, with all that action, that can sometimes mean a lot of work for Hannah, especially with a part-time position. “Balancing all the work can be hard sometimes; we have a lot going on all the time,” she says with a laugh.
Hannah originally grew up in Colchester but now lives in Niantic. When she’s not working, Hannah likes to travel and spend time with her family. Hannah still gets to flex her artistic muscle, particularly by drawing or painting, which she says are her favorite mediums.
As for a favorite aspect of Old Saybrook, Hannah says that she likes that the town still hasn’t lost its small-town feel.
“For such a big town that has so much going on, I love how close-knit it still is. It still feels like a community,” says Hannah.