January 21, 2013

New Logan-Cass chamber president: A Paschen for marketing

Chamber president settling into Logan life

by Sarah Einselen

— What does an Orlando real estate consultant have to do in Logansport?


Just ask Megan Paschen.

The marketing consultant started Jan. 2 as president of the Logansport-Cass County Chamber of Commerce, jumping in with both feet to market its member businesses. Paschen grew up in Orlando and had worked as a marketing assistant and real estate consultant at mortgage and real estate firms until moving with her family to Logansport in the fall.

“One of the best parts of my job is getting to know all the things in this community,” she said Friday after two weeks on the job. “I really am enjoying sampling all of the wonderful food and all the restaurants around here.”

Chamber board members and various community members have been “really helpful” in getting her settled in, she said, showing her around the city and introducing her to key contacts.

Off the clock, Paschen has enjoyed the chance to spend time with her husband’s family, she said. In Orlando, she lived not far from her parents; now, the couple and their daughter, 19-month-old Rachel, have begun attending Metea Baptist Church, where her husband grew up and his parents still attend.

Moving from Orlando — where more people lived and caused more traffic snarls, and weather made snow an unusual sight — to Logansport has also been refreshing, she said.

“The good thing about Logansport is that there’s a real sense of community,” explained Paschen. Many Orlando residents were somewhat transient, while in Logansport, many live near the same area where they grew up, she explained, giving them a vested interest in the area and causing them to take pride in it.

The 32-year-old moved to Cass County when her husband, Ryan Paschen, bought Springcreek Landscaping. They are technically co-owners, but her role is merely to support him in the business — giving her time to take on the chamber’s full-time position.

“We are co-owners, but obviously my job at the chamber does come first,” she said.

Rachel is in daycare while her mother works, an arrangement the family has practiced since the toddler was a few weeks old.

Paschen said she loves houses and architecture, which combined with her passion for marketing made real estate a natural fit. She merged real estate marketing and sales duties from 2006 until last fall.

“Being in real estate at the height of the market was exciting,” she recalled.

But one thing she did miss was something her parents had grown up with in a tiny Oklahoma town.

“The values that they had, they instilled into us growing up,” she said of her parents. Now that she’s retraced their steps to the Midwest, she’s excited to raise her daughter in Cass County with similar values.

Paschen may have focused on the housing market in the past, but she’s confident it will translate into excellent preparation for the chamber position.

“You’re not focused specifically on housing,” she explained, “but I believe that any experience there will help me here.... Now I just get to help support many different types of businesses.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune.