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Our Team

2023 Ali Headshot


President & CEO

Our fearless leader here at the chamber is Ali Rauch. She comes all the way from Paris, Illinois with a passion for positivity, small business, and of course, Opelika! Ali has an associate degree in Communication from Lake Land College, and a Bachelor’s in Public Relations from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She has worked for a variety of small businesses, many times as a jack-of-all-trades. Most notably, Ali served as the Director of Marketing at Chicken Salad Chick and helped grow that small business from only 3 locations to 160 locations. She decided to take the opportunity to use her experience and focus it on serving her neighbors and friends here in Opelika as the President & CEO of the chamber. She is an avid reader and huge Packers & Auburn Football fan. Her favorite thing about Opelika is, “The people – we have a little bubble of the most incredible people in America. Not only are they kind and generous, but they welcome others with open arms and have created a community that is truly one of a kind.”

2023 Mackenzie Headshot


Vice President

Mackenzie is our second in command! She is responsible for events and leadership programming along with developing workforce and daily operations of the chamber! Originally from Roswell, Georgia, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Sport, & Tourism Management and a Master's in Public Administration from Troy University. She previously worked for the City of Troy in the Community Engagement & Special Projects Department as well as Troy’s University’s Student Involvement Office until she began her role here in 2019 as the Director of Leadership & Events. She coordinates over 170 events and programs annually and is the staff lead for the 20 under 40, Lee County Young Leaders, Opelika Young Professionals, REACH Campaign, and all program related committees. She loves to travel, listen to live music, and attend fun community events. Mackenzie’s favorite thing about Opelika is, “There is always something to do or get involved in like Sno*pelika, On the Tracks, Victorian Front Porch Tour, and Summer Swing.”

Joel Alvarado Headshot


Business & Workforce Development Director

Joel Alvarado serves as the Business & Workforce Development Director for the Opelika Chamber of Commerce. He is a 2015 graduate of Auburn University, a proud alumnus of Southern Union State Community College, and a product of the Opelika City Schools system, having moved here in 6th grade. Since graduating from Auburn, he’s gained invaluable experience working for the State of Alabama’s 529 Plan, followed by serving as communications lead at Baxter in Opelika. He and his wife, Jenny, and their little girl Penelope are proud to call Opelika home. Fun fact: Joel is the lead singer in a 90’s cover band called Truck Dog! "My favorite thing about Opelika is the city pride. It’s easy for a city to get wrapped up in the identity of the larger ones nearby. However, even with a powerhouse SEC school in the city right next door, our identity has only strengthened. From the legacy families of Opelika down to the newlyweds who met in college and just couldn’t leave, our city pride runs deep."

2023 Ashley Headshot1


Director of Operations & Engagement

Ashley serves as our Director of Operations & Engagement and is your point person for most of your chamber related questions. She is focused on supporting existing members and onboarding new members to help them make the most of their membership. She is an Opelika native with 13 years of experience in business management and customer service. She is passionate about the Opelika community and the people within it. She has loved getting to watch the downtown small business community grow and is excited to be a part of that growth for years to come! She enjoys spending time with family, including her two kids and all their after-school sports programs. Her favorite thing about Opelika is its charm. “I love the small-town vibes where everyone knows everyone and going to Opelika Bulldog football games. Go Dawgs!”

2023 Lenzi Headshot


Director of Marketing, Communications & Media

Lenzi is our connector! Lenzi serves as our Director of Marketing, Communications and Media, so if you need to get the word out about your business or events, she’s the girl for you. She is the brains behind all branding, email, press, website, magazine, and social media communication efforts so if you need to add an announcement to The Connector, don’t hesitate to contact her directly. From the sweet small-town Scottsboro, Alabama, she graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a minor in Communication. She previously worked within the Marketing & Communication Departments of Chicken Salad Chick and Auburn University’s Alumni Association. You'll always be greeted by her smile and infectious energy. She is truly a ray of sunshine with a passion for authenticity, spreading joy, connecting with people, travel and living life fully. Her favorite thing about Opelika is the community, “The bond we all share is truly something special. The people genuinely care and encourage one another with such intentionality, like family. Opelika is also such a cute town filled with unique spots! At times, I feel like we live in a Hallmark movie!”

2023 Catherine Headshot2


Membership & Business Development Coordinator

Catherine is always our biggest cheerleader! She serves as our Membership & Business Development Coordinator. If you are interested in joining the Chamber, she is the one to talk to! Catherine is dedicated to helping businesses become involved with the Chamber and community! Originally from the lovely town of Fairhope, Alabama, she received her bachelor's degree in Human Development & Family Studies from Auburn University. Her previous roles include working within the Medical Outreach, Grant Support, and Administrative Departments of Make-A-Wish Georgia, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Himmelwright, Huguley, & Boles right here in Opelika, until she began her role at the Chamber. She is a huge Auburn sports fan and loves spending time with her family and friends when she isn't cuddling her two adorable Pomeranian dogs, Chewy & Dallas. Her favorite thing about Opelika is the history & community, "Opelika has such a beautiful historic downtown and being able to witness the revitalization of our downtown businesses has been so exciting! We also have some of the best people. The people within our community are extremely welcoming and kind. Opelika is such a special place, and we are blessed to be a part of it!”

2023 Gracie Headshot


Marketing & Event Specialist

Gracie serves as our Marketing & Event Specialist assisting Lenzi & Mackenzie on all things social media and event management. Originally from the sweet town of Haleyville, Alabama, she recently received her bachelor's degree in Marketing from Auburn University in 2022! Gracie enjoys spending time with her family & friends, traveling, and going on walks with her golden retriever puppy, Tucker! Her favorite thing about Opelika is the community, "I love that the town has a small-town feel filled with kind & supportive people while flourishing with fun activities and new opportunities each day!"

Lauren Albritton Headshot 2024


Executive Assistant & Guest Services Coordinator

Lauren is typically the first person you'll meet at the chamber! She serves as our Executive Assistant & Guest Services Coordinator. Lauren is an Opelika native and has been engaged in the city her entire life! She enjoys authentically connecting with people, spending time with her family & friends, camping and reading! Her favorite thing about Opelika is "the close knit community we uphold. Everyone knows everyone, even when we don’t, and we all strive to be kind and friendly to one another. I love that strangers wave at each other and hold the door open for the person coming in after you."