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Sarah Avery selected as new Chamber of Commerce President

She replaces Karen Kimbrel who is retiring December 24, 2018

Sarah Avery  has been selected by the board of the Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce  as the chamber’s President. Her official duties will begin on December 26, 2018. She replaces Karen Kimbrel, who is retiring at the end on December 24..

Avery holds a B.F.A. degree from the Savannah College Of Art And Design (SCAD) where she graduated Cum Laude in 1986. Before attending Savannah College of Art and Design, she  attended Bainbridge Jr. College and worked in bookkeeping at a family business. She is an active realtor with the Whitaker Agency in Donalsonville and has been since 2008. Avery is a member of Friendship United Methodist Church where she participates in mission work that directly affects the community, namely, the monthly Manna Drop and The Friendship Store.  She also serves on several committees within the church.  She is the current Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce and is an accomplished and very talented artist. Her work was chosen this year for inclusion in Governor Nathan Deal’s  Art of Georgia exhibit at the state Capitol in Atlanta.

Avery commented, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with the people  of this community.  Please think of our office as your Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber is here for you!  Our mission is to represent our local businesses and assist them in finding ways to be successful. Our area has so much to offer and I hope that we can look back at the challenges we have faced due to Hurricane Michael and know that we took those challenges and used them as opportunities for growth and improvement.”

Avery’s role as President of the Chamber will include the following responsibilities:

• Develop and implement a marketing strategy for business recruitment, business expansion and economic growth (Donalsonville and Seminole County).

• Take the leadership role on all projects, setting goals and other activities that reflect positively.

• Present Chamber annual financial report to city and county before they begin their budget process.

• Maintain and monitor website and for all other written marketing information to ensure the message that will be sent to others is accurate and consistent.

• Advocate for any laws, local, county, state and national that would impact the city and county. Develop strategy to overcome laws that may have a negative impact.

• Attend meetings and training sessions throughout the state that would have an impact on us.

• Research and reach out to companies that are looking to relocate. Meet with local and state representatives and get our name out to the lawmakers.

• Develop and foster relationships with regional and state Economic Development agencies, organizations and associations

•Administer agreements and complete application for Grants

• Serve as the liaison between city and county regarding private and public opportunities. Act as spokesperson for the process.

• Develop and maintain a comprehensive inventory of available sites and buildings in the city and county.

• Develop an annual budget for the Chamber with the Finance Committee that relates to program goals and objectives. Oversees all expenditures within the framework of the budget.

• Supervise the Chamber Ambassadors and assigning their duties.

• Keep the Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Authority apprised of procedures, regulations, technological and other market-related changes in economic development areas which will improve the organization’s success.

• Maintain the confidentiality of all information that may be imparted during the performance of all duties.

• Report monthly on economic development activity to IDA and Chamber.

• Work with the Chamber Board Chairman to develop monthly agendas.

• Serve as a liaison with the Chambers Economic Development Taskforces.

• Work in cooperation with the City of Donalsonville, County Commission, BetterWay Initiative, Downtown Development Authority, Lake Seminole groups and all other entities in Seminole County to organize and implement scheduled events.

• Work with all current and future committees appointed by the board of directors that are created to foster services and programs for the benefit of the community.

• Coordinate chamber presence at special events or openings by personal presence or through Ambassador Program.

• Recruit and retain of members to the chamber

• Establish a design of and maintenance plan for facilities to provide for an efficient operation and positive image for the chamber organization.

• Facilitate additional activities and tasks as needed and appropriate for the mission.

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