- photo by Anthony Jinson
Vice President of Community Affairs, Columbia Chamber of Commerce
As recently as five years ago, Jolyn Sattizahn would have viewed her resume as a “hodge-podge” of experiences.
“Looking back, most of my positions — from volunteerism to internships, temporary jobs, etc. — make perfect sense in preparation for my diverse current role,” she says.
As vice president of community affairs for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, she pulls from her bachelor’s degrees in communication and sociology, her master’s degree in public affairs, nonprofit advancement work, and city government experience to build relationships with community partners across industries, backgrounds, and interests.
“Forefront in our minds is making sure we provide an accessible and welcoming environment so that Columbia is a place where anyone has the opportunity to get the support they need to pursue a business idea,” she says.
Simply put, her work is all about advancing community excellence. Sattizahn represents the Chamber’s interests with other organizations to make Columbia stronger, collaborating with entities such as REDI, the City of Columbia, and higher education institutions.
The end goal?
“Improving the quality of life for all Columbians,” she says. “We, therefore, get to touch a lot of different sectors of our community, and this keeps my work interesting.”
She also delivers leadership and educational programming for chamber members. She spearheads the chamber’s annual Leadership Visit, which takes community leaders to learn from a peer city. The program is capped at a group of 70 delegates made up of business influencers in Columbia.
“I pride myself on making the trips engaging and highly relevant in terms of the pressing community topics explored,” she says. “Many local leaders have told me that it’s the most valuable investment of time and money they make all year.”
She was one of 10 chamber professionals nationwide to be accepted into a three-year leadership diversity cohort through the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Whether she’s overseeing Leadership Columbia, leading the chamber’s emerging issues committee, or pricing a bag of corn to help determine Columbia’s cost of living, she’s working toward the betterment of the community.
Fun Fact: Jolyn’s favorite hobby is taking ballet classes.
Get to know the other class members here.