CEP Mourns the Passing of Phyllis Hamm, Chamber & Community Icon

Posted on: April 25, 2014

The CEP mourns the passing of former long-time Chamber staffer and friend Phyllis Hamm. A 36-year employee of the Chamber before her retirment in 2006, she had remained an active and vocal supporter of both the Chamber and the community.

"Phyllis was a friend and cornerstone of this organization for more than 36 years. She was our go-to person on any and all things Ocala. There was only one Phyllis and she will be greatly missed," said Jaye Baillie, former Chamber president and the CEP's Director of Business Services.

The following is story that was published on her retirement:

This is a story about someone who day in and day out for 36 years has dedicated her work to this community. There aren’t a lot of people who haven’t met Phyllis Hamm, and for those who haven’t, hopefully you’ll have the chance.

You see, in today’s world, it’s rare for an employee to remain dedicated to their employer for more than three decades. The average gen-xer will have more than seven career changes by the time they reach retirement. Phyllis’ career started with the Chamber as the bookkeeper, helping through the capital campaign that built today’s Chamber Headquarters. She served as staff director and currently serves as Membership Director. But equally important, she’s serves as not only our Chamber Historian, but as a community historian.

Anyone who’s asked Phyllis about who or what or when in Ocala/Marion County’s past, knows that her eyes light up and the stories begin. There are few happenings that missed her radar.

During her tenure, she helped the Ag-Equine committee in the early days with the formation of the Florida Horse Park and The Southeast Youth Fair to name just a few accomplishments.  She’s managed more special events than anyone in this town including 36 years worth of parades, golf tournaments, annual dinners, fish fries and more. And her relationship with members of the Chamber is deep and strong, always available to let folks know how they can engage in chamber and community.

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