The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce will, once again, look for a new director. Jovanna Nemes, who had only been in the position since June, quit today.

Nemes said she will work reduced hours through the first part of the year “to spend more time with my family.”

“I will still be working very part-time until they’re able to find somebody more suited for the full-time needs,” she said.

Dan Penhollow, who owns the Magnolia Mail Box (3214 W. McGraw St.), is the chamber president for a few more weeks. The chamber will wait until January to start the search for a new candidate.

Nemes had been selected out of a pool of 25 candidates that was narrowed down to three.

The chamber will do another full search for her replacement, Penhollow said. In the meantime, Nemes and the board will cover the clerical stuff. There isn’t much going on for the remainder of the year, he said” Magnolia’s two Christmas events have already taken place.

Once they locate someone for the position, Penhollow would want that person to take over “as soon as possible.”

It’s possible the new person won’t be called the director, he said. In an interview for a previously written, unpublished story featuring Nemes for the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, Penhollow said her transition was rocky. He attributes this to the board putting a lot of time into identifying the skills it wanted the director to have but little time into defining the job description.

“She was really thrown into the fire, so to speak,” he had said. “Once we sat down and talked about her role and her expectations, things [were] much better.”

In that interview, Penhollow also said he wanted to expand the chamber to be able to pay for more hours for the director. The position is part-paid, part-volunteer, due to the small budget. He had estimated Nemes was paid for about 10 hours a week but worked at least twice that.

We will continue to follow this story and the search for a new chamber director as information becomes available.

To comment on this story, write to