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Chamber names new director

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Chamber of Commerce has named Rachel Martin as its new executive director.

Martin has worked with the Chamber of Commerce since 2017.

She first worked part-time in bookkeeping. Most recently, she served as interim director after former director Francine Wasden retired.

Being director is not a position Martin would have always pictured herself in.

“I wasn’t really sure what a Chamber did at first.  As I learned, I realized this was just the perfect career path for me,” Martin said. “I love talking to and meeting new people, and I love helping others and problem solving. That’s exactly what the Chamber does — we work to promote and retain businesses in the community and help them in any way we can.”

She said during her time at the chamber she has “had great support, guidance and leadership,” which has helped her grow into the director position.

Chamber President Billy Singleton said he and the board of directors were “extremely pleased” with Martin becoming the new executive director.

“During her tenure with the organization, most recently as interim executive director, Rachel has consistently demonstrated the strong leadership, professional and technical skills necessary to ensure the Chamber of Commerce fulfills its mission of service to our community,” Singleton said. “She has consistently demonstrated a passion for creating economic opportunity to improve the quality of life of our residents through the expansion of new business and industry and the retention of our existing retail outlets and services. Her sense of commitment and service to Chilton County and its municipalities will not only ensure a successful future for the Chamber of Commerce and its membership, but for our residents as well.”

Martin said she is looking forward to helping community members connect with the Chamber by meeting with people and working to grow the Chamber’s membership.

She wants to focus on “bringing our community together more and helping everybody work together for the growth of the county and not just one specific town (or) one specific city.”

“I want to be able to serve God, serve the community, and I want to do it well,” Martin said.

Current projects include helping Clanton complete its application to MainStreet Alabama and organizing community events with each of the mayors.

While in person activities have had to be limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin said the Chamber has used social media and other means to continue to get information out to its members. The Chamber also helped businesses navigate through the paperwork for financial assistance that was available.