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Shows to head chamber

Jay Shows and Kelley Smith had it all figured out. Shows recently sold his business in Calera and anticipated a run for mayor. Meanwhile, Smith was content to operate her little Linden shop, Kellz Florists.

Both have changed paths dramatically, and will combine to replace Kathy Leverett at the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Board. Shows will become president of the Chamber and executive secretary of the IDB in January. Smith will serve as coordinator for tourism and events in Demopolis. She will begin work in November.

The announcement comes two months after Leverett announced her resignation from the Chamber and IDB.

As head of the Chamber and IDB, Shows will serve as chief administrator over all Chamber and IDB functions.

The job duties of Shows will be a bit different from those of Leverett, though. With the hire of Smith, Shows will be allowed more time to focus on industrial recruitment and economic development.

Smith, on the other hand, will take control of events like Christmas on the River, Freedom on the River and the annual spring pilgrimage.

Along with owning a florist in Linden, Smith said she’s someone who can build on what Leverett has already accomplished in terms of social events and tourism in Demopolis.

Leverett praised both the Chamber and IDB boards for their selections of Shows and Smith.

Olen Kerby, chairman of the IDB, and Allen Bishop, chairman of the Chamber board, worked extensively on the hiring process, and both said they were pleased with Shows and Smith.

Bishop, like Kerby, said the interview process brought forth a number of good candidates, and Shows and Smith proved to be the best team.

Much of the reason the Chamber and IDB were able to hire two people to fill the post of Leverett was because the city of Demopolis raised the lodging tax in order to pay the positions. Mayor Austin Caldwell said the money has been used wisely.