Key leadership position now open

Published 12:14 am Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Chamber of Commerce is an integral part of business development in any community. It certainly plays an important role in Demopolis.

Each year, Christmas on the River draws thousands and thousands of people to our county. That event is a function of the Chamber.

That’s probably the highest profile project undertaken by the chamber and its board all year, however, the things they do and the services they offer are far too many to list in this small space.

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If your business is not currently an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, I suggest that you investigate joining.

If you’re not sure how that membership would benefit your business, please call the office at 289-0270.

I’m sure Kelley Smith or Pat Brady will be glad to tell you about the benefits. Ask any member, or stop by Napoleon’s and talk to Director Ray Saliba. He’ll gladly tell you how the chamber can impact your business.

If you’re not a small business owner, inquire about an individual membership.

You’ll receive a discount card, which is honored at many local retailers. With the holiday gift-giving season coming up, you can easily save more than your membership dues.

If you’re a potential applicant for the President vacancy, I urge you to submit your resume. But, be forewarned: This is not an easy job.

It’s never been easy and it’s not easy now. The leader of the Chamber of Commerce is the point-person directly responsible for directing information to potential and existing business.

If there’s a convention out there, the chamber president or their staff is on the phone telling them why it should be held in Demopolis. Got a traveling youth sports league? If you’re the chamber president, you’re looking for the person in charge and trying to get them to take a tour of the SportsPlex.

The two examples above are time tested and true. They’ve worked in the past and they’ll work in the future, and they continue to provide a nice spike in tax revenue through gas purchases, lodging and local shopping.

If you think you’re the person who can take Kelley Smith’s torch and sprint to the next stage in what the future holds, please mail a resume to the Demopolis Times, P.O. Box 860, Demopolis, AL, 36732. You may also email them to me at

And, please applicants, with all the Christmas on the River planning and work already underway, please do not call the chamber office. You may direct your questions to me and I will work to get you an answer, but please hurry.

The deadline to apply is November 30.

As both a member of the chamber and a board member, I look forward to working with this new person and I thank Kelley Smith for her years of dedication and service. I wish she and her husband, Brandon, and their daughter, Camilla, the best of luck as they prepare for their new arrival.

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.