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Chamber hopes to have director in new year

By Michael Butler

The process of selecting the next executive director for the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce is underway. Interviews have been ongoing with the final candidates.

"It's going pretty well," said Chamber board member Wade Shipman, who is serving on the selection committee. "Right now we've interviewed three people. I think we would be fine with a couple of those. Our search will basically fall in one of those two directions. They both bring something a little different to the table. They're both energetic. I think they'd be received in a positive light."

In addition to Shipman, the committee consists of board members Rod Cater, Caroline Herring and Chamber president Laurie Rygiel. A recommendation will be brought before the entire board.

"We're trying to get a good leader for our community, someone who is going to go out there and build. I think before Christmas we'll have a director named."

The position is a 20-hour per week job that will pay $20,000 annually.

"It's kind of a fluid situation," Shipman added. "We have certain office hours; four hours a week, three hours a day. The other hours are divided on going out and getting into businesses and trying to expand our membership."

Shipman noted that incentives could be offered if the director meets certain criteria, such as growth in Chamber membership.

"I think we're headed in the right direction. We're all ready for a director to come in and provide the leadership that the group needs."

As superintendent of Tallassee City Schools and a volunteer on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce, Shipman sees a similarity with the role of the incoming director akin to his role with Tallassee Board of Education.

"You have the superintendent who makes a lot of decisions on a daily basis. They come back and meet with that board on a monthly basis. The board is not running the school on a day-to-day basis. The board of directors doesn't need to run the Chamber on a day-to-day basis."

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