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'Fulton Famous'

'Fulton Famous'

New chamber marketing, special events coordinator is a well known Mokane native

April 13th, 2019 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

Justis Kemp, a Mokane native and graduate of South Callaway schools and William Woods, is in a new position. She now is marketing and special events coordinator for the Callaway Chamber of Commerce and working on upcoming events.

Photo by Helen Wilbers /Fulton Sun.

A native of Mokane, Justis Kemp is now bringing her renaissance skills to the Callaway County Chamber of Commerce.

She's about two weeks into her new employment gig as marketing and special events coordinator.

"I am a talker; I love talking to people," Kemp said. "My dream in life was to be a writer and live in the mountains and never talk to people, but I never finish anything."

Plus, there is that pesky habit of loving to talk to people.

"I am good at building relationships with people, and in public relations, you're out there in the community talking to people," Kemp added.

She was born in Columbia to parents from Mokane, and graduated from South Callaway schools in 2014.

"I went to William Woods (University) and studied communications," she said.

She graduated in three years instead of four, Cum Laude, with a bachelor of science in communications with an emphasis in public relations. Kemp also was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Studies honor society of the National Communication Association, and was also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, the nation's largest leadership honor society. She is an avid volunteer, volunteering with Out of the Darkness Community Walks, Project Homeless Connect and Voluntary Action Center.

She was a familiar face to customers at Central Bank while in school.

"They called me Fulton Famous because I know everyone," she added.

After graduation, Kemp went to work for Veterans United Mortgage Company.

"I started there right after college, but I wanted something in my career line," she said.

Besides, there was the commute to Columbia. Kemp is engaged to Randy Smith who works as a service advisor at Fulton Ford, and they are planning a June 29 wedding.

"And I decided to get my master's (degree) at the same time," she added. "I need something to fill my time — I have to always be busy and constantly going."

She comes from a large, tight-knit family.

"The Kemps are quite wide spread," she said. "There's a large group of Kemp cousins out there."

When the job at the chamber came up, Kemp said she jumped at it.

"I think I'll be here for the really long term," she said. "It kind of happened suddenly. My mom's co-worker found it, and I thought, this sounds perfect."

Kemp said her first goal is to "Tell the chamber story, to learn more about the chamber and tell the community how it plans to grow."

She also was working hard organizing the Chamber's Business Expo on Thursday at the Callaway Senior Center. And, she's jumping into planning the Aug. 2 Teacher Appreciation Breakfast.

"My first event that Tamara (Tateosian, the chamber's executive director) is letting me take leadership of is the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast Aug. 2 at 54 Country," Kemp said. "I still know quite a few of the teachers."

Last year was the first for this event, with about 450 people coming from Callaway County schools.

"Tamara's expecting about 550 this year," she added.

Tatoesian said Kemp is a great addition to the team.

"We are ecstatic to have Justis join our team. Her skill sets will complement the on-going work of this organization and will assist us in meeting our goals outlined in our strategic plan," she said.

Looking five years down the road, Kemp said she will continue to be honing her skills.

"I would like to effectively be running the event section and marketing avenue of the chamber," she added. "I was born and raised here, but I didn't fully understand what the chamber did."

Kemp maintains her energy by thinking about her effect on the people she comes across.

"My thing that gets me out up each morning is whether I'm grumpy or happy, there is one life out there I can touch," she said. "I have to be the best me. Maybe I can change people's perspective about their day. If I'm the best me, maybe I can change someone's perspective."