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DACC names Freeman as new executive director

The Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Sidney Freeman as the organization’s new executive director — a position that has been open since August 2017.

Her first day was earlier this month, and she already has big things in store for the community. Freeman wants to do a special Demopolis showcase through creative means such as student essays or a photo campaign.

Adding on to the chamber’s tradition of naming a Business of the Month, Freeman wants to honor a Service Representative of the Month as well. This aligns with her desire to create a better business environment in Demopolis.

“My main goal is to do whatever we can to help our chamber business members,” she said.

She plans to make the city even more attractive to prospective businesses by emphasizing the area’s many outdoor opportunities.

“That’s a really big thing here in Demopolis because there are so many opportunities with the river and the campground and the [Wildlife Management Areas] that are here,” she said.

Outdoor opportunities are familiar to Freeman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of West Alabama and a master’s degree in forestry from Mississippi State University.

In the past, she has worked with Soggy Bottom Lodge, the Marengo County Army Corp of Engineers and Southern Perspective in Thomaston, which she left towards the end of 2017 in order to focus on completing her master’s.

Since her start date, Freeman has already become involved in Christmas on the River planning, learning the community and “… seeing what I can do to help facilitate a better business network [and a] better business environment in Demopolis.”

Though she’s not expecting it to always be smooth sailing, Freeman said she sees no major hurdles down the road but won’t shy away from any challenges that do present themselves.

“I think the best way to handle those is to take them step by step.”

Chairman of the Board Rebecca Hasty said the long wait for an executive director will be worth it.

“The Executive Director Search Committee undertook quite a task when asked to find the right person for this unique position. After careful consideration, Sidney Freeman was selected to take over as our new executive director. Sidney has some wonderful ideas to re-energize the chamber, to meet the needs of our members and to help us grow. We look forward to what the future holds for the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce,” Hasty said.

Freeman said she has an “open-door policy,” and that can be tested on July 26 for a Chamber After Hours event at the chamber office. The come-and-go event will last from 5-7 p.m. and will serve as a meet-and-greet opportunity for Freeman.

Freeman can also be contacted during regular chamber business hours at 334-289-0270 or director@demopolischamber.com.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, July 21 issue of the Demopolis Times.)