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Chamber's next leader needs experience, vision
Courier editorial
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The search for a new executive director for the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce provides the chamber’s board of directors a unique opportunity to choose a candidate who can help bolster long-term implementation of many programs currently in place.
The candidate need not be a local or long-time resident of the region; these qualities are beneficial when building professional relationships, but more important is a leader who has been in the position of bolstering the economic development of a community like Liberty County.
As the community’s economy slowly improves and the local military and civilian populations continue to grow, Liberty County is poised to attract businesses that fill specific needs. These businesses will desire employees with skills embodied by the current workforce. A chamber of commerce is specifically tasked with creating a platform to showcase the community and produce a vision of building a healthy retail base that will sustain and satisfy the population, creating a positive cycle of economic growth.
An experienced, forward-thinking and aggressive executive director might see the benefit of pairing new businesses with existing ones in a mentor-mentee setting, and of acting as a liaison between new businesses and the government offices and professional development groups that can help them succeed.
Such a leader also might see the benefit in gathering together business leaders to share ideas on improving the economic climate and improving the services the chamber can offer them.
The ideal candidate certainly should have a high success rate of increasing chamber membership numbers and have experience strengthening such an organization’s role in the business community as a partner and service provider to its members. This candidate also should have strong ties to the state and national chamber organizations and a desire to emulate successful strategies implemented by other chambers of commerce.
As an example, consider the success of the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce Community Showcase. In this Ohio community, businesses gather twice a year for a two-day event, free and open to the public, introducing chamber members and nonmembers alike to current and potential patrons. This show is in its 13th year and continues to draw rave reviews from the community.
With the creation and implementation of such programs as the Work Ready initiative, Leadership Liberty and the Progress Through People luncheons, the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce is poised to drive much-needed economic growth and development.
As a community, let’s ask the chamber directors to appoint a leader with the proven capability of accomplishing this task.
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