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Chamber, IDB gets change of leadership

David Goodwin

The leadership has changed at the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Board, though the change will be most visible on the groups’ letterhead.

Effective Monday, Kelley Smith, the head of tourism and marketing, became Chamber president, with Jay Shows focusing full-time on attracting new industries as executive secretary of the Industrial Development Board.

Alec Braswell, chairman of the Chamber Board, said the plan is simply the implementation of a two-year plan, in which Shows would head up the chamber while grooming Smith for the position.

“Now we’ll have full-time people on both boards,” Braswell said. “Jay did a good job of giving her more to do as we got closer to the end of that two-year period. She’s had a hand in just about everything going on with the Chamber and is ready to run with it on her own.”

Smith said she was excited to take on the full duties of Chamber president, and she thanked Shows for all that he’d done to help prepare her for the job.

“Jay was a great teacher and it was a wonderful experience to learn from him,” she said. “We have an excellent board and I feel really prepared and excited to get started.”