WELLINGTON — Valerie Earl and Kelsi Hinsha, the new team at the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce, have some similarities, but also some differences which they believe work to their advantage in their new roles.

“We collaborate well,” said Valerie Earl, chamber executive director. “Kelsi was born and raised here and me, not being from here, is a good combination.”

“I think it’s a good melding of experience and perspectives,” said Hinsha, chamber office manager.

Generations of Hinsha’s family have lived in Wellington. She grew up here, then attended the University of Kansas and transferred to Wichita State University where she graduated. Hinsha then worked in marketing for Crestview Country Club in Wichita, then moved to Kansas City. A job with Sumner Regional Medical Center, now Sumner Community Hospital, brought her back to her hometown where, like Earl, she is married and raising a family.

She was working for McAlister Accounting before taking the chamber job.

Wellington “is my home,” Hinsha said. “I have its best interests at heart.”

Earl has a side job at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane where she plans events, the same kind of thing she does for the chamber. She also managed a sports bar in Bricktown, Oklahoma.

“Being a sports bar manager, I learned a lot about delegation and supervision and responsibility,” she said.

She and her husband, Brandon, previously lived in Michigan and Edmond, Oklahoma. He took a management job at Mill Creek Lumber, which brought them to Wellington.

“I feel like this town has grabbed a hold of me and shown me it’s a good place to raise our kids,” Earl said.