By Amy Howe 

Striving to be the leader in all things Grove and Grand Lake, Oklahoma, is what Amanda Davis, president of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, has set her sights on for her community. And with a 26% increase in visitor spending in 2022, Delaware County is well on its way to be the place to see and visit in Oklahoma. 

Before becoming the president of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce in November 2023, Davis worked nearly 18 years in a leadership role in Miami, Oklahoma, within the tourism and visitor development industry. She also has a strong sales background in the marketing industry, so when the opportunity arrived at the Chamber, it was the perfect fit for her. 

“I had some experience with economic development in my previous role and this new position is a beautiful blend of that: tourism, membership development, events and so much more,” says Davis. “I have been amazed at the level of production and output that takes place at the Grove Chamber and am thankful for this opportunity to use my experience and leadership to continue to carry out all the great things happening here. I hope to add value from some of my previous experiences to see continued growth at the GACC.” 

The Grove Area Chamber of Commerce has nearly 400 members and is staffed with three full-time employees, one volunteer, 15 active board members and nearly 50 Chamber ambassadors. With a shift in leadership over the past year, the staff has been hustling to keep the Chamber moving steadily along with the new growth. 

Davis’ fellow two full-time employees and volunteer include Connie King, Carol Merciez and Don Bormaster, all of whom Davis credits an incredibly smooth transition for everyone as she moved into her new role. 

Veteran employee Connie King, executive vice president, has been with the Chamber for 12 years. 

“Connie does an excellent job in her role heading up accounting and membership,” says Davis. “She has established a strong reputation for dependability, and she knows what it takes to keep the Chamber growing and serving our members at a high level.” 

Carol Merciez, Chamber administrative assistant, started in September 2023.

 “Carol is the voice on the phone and warrior behind the desk keeping things going in the office on a daily basis,” says Davis. “She is an artist and is involved with the Creative Alliance and other art activities in the community. Carol is a soon-to-be-certified yoga instructor, too! 

“Don, our staff volunteer, brings so much fun to the office,” says Davis. “Don is a one-stop-shop when it comes to knowing the heartbeat of the region, and we are grateful for the many hours he spends assisting the Chamber and serving in roles with the election board and other organizations.“ 

Together, this team works tirelessly to ensure everyone has the resources they need to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community and lake region. The Chamber acts as a spokesperson for the business and professional community and translates into action the thinking and needs of its members. The Chamber also provides specific services to its members and to the community. Something you may not know about the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce is the amount of work that goes on each day. 

“The Grove Area Chamber of Commerce is a very active and productive organization,” says Davis. “Our membership quantity and annual program of work are two areas where we would compare to a city with a population of 25,000-plus, almost more than triple the size of the City of Grove. The value that comes with membership at the GACC is at a high level.” 

Now, the team is working to roll out the 2024 strategic plan, which will consist of beefing up the areas of economic development and marketing. 

“These are two areas where members will see added value in their involvement with the Grove Chamber,” says Davis. “We are also expanding our legislative areas of work. In March, we added a Grove Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol and soon will be finalizing our legislative agenda with members across the lake region.”

PHOTO: With Oklahoma Lt Governor Matt Pinnell (center) and State Rep Josh West (right) and board member Joel McCorkle (left) 

Other parts of the plan include working with area partners to roll out a new lake-wide marketing campaign, launching a new series of “State of the Community” luncheons and many other initiatives. 

Davis wants to be the voice for the members when it comes to legislation and matters that can adversely affect the Grove and Grand Lake region. 


“We may not be able to make everything perfect, but we will work our hardest to make sure that our members are heard, and our voices are loud and clear in Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C. Grove and Grand Lake have so much momentum and it’s exciting to see the relationship with our state, county and national level legislators so strong and growing.” 

Upcoming events: 

• April 19-20: Grove Christian Weekend & Youth Art Show 

• May 3: Food Truck Friday & Art Festival 

• May 4: Grove Farmers Market kicks off 

• June 7-9: Toes in the Grand Summer Festival 

For additional information on what’s happening in the Grove and Grand Lake region, visit or call 918.786.9079.