The Knox County Chamber of Commerce took a bold step this week. For the first time in its history, our chamber now has an executive director.
Most surrounding areas have long had an executive director representing their chamber.
Not surprisingly, London chamber, Southern KY chamber (Corbin & Williamsburg) and others nearby have grown faster and become much larger than ours. (Full disclosure: I serve on the Knox County Chamber’s board of directors, and helped nominate Claudia Greenwood as Executive Director. I believe she will be successful, setting the bar high for this position.)
Hopefully, under Claudia’s leadership, our Chamber increases membership, increases chamber activities in the community, and makes an aggressive effort to attract, inform and support newcomers. Our chamber should soon be able to serve as an “information desk” for our beautiful, historic, and busy little community. We know Union College, Tourism, Stivers Aquatic Center, our school systems, and other organizations in our community host many interesting activities and events. By collecting, analyzing and sharing that information strategically, our chamber can promote business and increase revenue opportunities here.
One example – a few years ago the chamber, tourism and the Advocate partnered with the Stivers center. They created and printed a local map. It listed local attractions and restaurants willing to give discounts to Aquatic Center swim meet competitors, their friends and family. As a result, several businesses saw their cash registers light up. The line at Subway remained long all weekend.
Clearly, no one person can do this alone. Everyone must be willing to help.
So, for our part, the Mountain Advocate will soon link our community calendar to the Chamber’s website for free. That should help make even more information available to the public. Is there something you, your business, or your church or civic group can do? Then do it!
We put a good leader in place at the chamber. If we all work with her, I think we will see good results here in Knox County. What do you think?