Leverett resigns as chamber director

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 13, 2003

Kathy Leverett, a woman known for her ability to woo industrial contacts and organize major community events, has resigned her position as president of the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Industrial Development Board.

Her husband, David Leverett, has accepted a new job in Clarksville, Tenn.

Though Kathy Leverett’s resignation won’t take effect for another six months, leaders in this city know they will lose an important ingredient to the success of Demopolis.

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For nearly six years, Leverett has served as head of the chamber and industrial board. She came to Demopolis from Sylacauga, and though she has no family ties to the Demopolis area, she admits that her "heart is tied here."

Olen Kirby, chairman of the Industrial Development Board, lauded Leverett’s ability to organize events as her greatest strength.

Leverett, heralded as one of the leaders in pushing progress on Demopolis, moved here with her husband from Sylacauga, and at that time, she never thought she could embrace another city.

Though following her husband and family to Clarksville &045;&045; just North of Nashville &045;&045; won’t be hard, Leverett admits a bit of emptiness in leaving Demopolis.

The opportunity for a large industrial announcement isn’t awash just yet, and even if it doesn’t happen during Leverett’s time here, she believes she’s helped Demopolis grow.

No one knows that better than Caldwell.

Over the past year, Demopolis has enjoyed enormous notoriety from across the nation &045;&045; starting with freshman U.S. Rep. Artur Davis. Leverett and Davis formed such a close working relationship that she was granted the privilege of introducing the congressman at a regional economic development meeting in Perdido recently.

Along with her contacts, Leverett has used a Midas touch on a number of activities in Demopolis &045;&045; most notably, Christmas on the River.

Among examples she cited were the strategic plan that Demopolis adopts every three years and the fruition of those plans. She also said the chamber’s 12@12 program has helped bring businesses in the community together more.

Making improvements to the retail and industrial sectors in Demopolis has helped make this transition from Demopolis a little easier. At the same time, Leverett knows there are projects she worked on that will one day be completed.

Leaving a community with which she has become so intertwined will be hard for Leverett. Then again, spending the next few years watching her youngest daughter grow makes the move more appealing.

One of the reasons Leverett will stay in Demopolis until January 2004 is because daughter Lori Beth, 13, will be the head cheerleader at Demopolis Middle School this year.

And once football season is over and all the Leveretts make the move to Clarksville, Leverett knows she’s going to enjoy spending time with her youngest daughter, Anna Claire, 3.

For 21-year-old son Joey, a student at the University of West Alabama, Leverett said she’ll just make sure her son is situated.

Though the next six months will be a time of transition for Demopolis and Kathy Leverett, citizens in this area can count on having a chamber director who won’t slow down.