My First Week as the Geneva Chamber Executive Director

Greater Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, Geneva, Alabama (front with new hours sign). Photo by Eric Hepperle, 2018
The Greater Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce has new hours and is open for business (Credit: Eric Hepperle © 2018)

Last week was very interesting to say the least. I officially began my first week as Geneva, Alabama’s new Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. [For those who are unsure of what an executive director does, this post about the role of the executive director by attorney Molly Cullinane may shed some light. Another useful source is this list of traits of great nonprofit leaders by The Moran Company, an executive search company specializing in find top nonprofit leadership talent.] There was a bit of turmoil regarding my past and in order to address the concerns of some citizens and introduce myself to the town in the most honest way I could think of, I published this confession of sins laying out who I had been in the past and how God changed me into who I am now, and continues to shape who I am becoming. I also listed my top six priorities (pending board approval) as director that I intend to work on first. Here the are in no particular order:

  1. Create a Web and Social media presence for the Chamber
  2. Find out from community and business leaders what they would like to see from the Chamber
  3. Have regular, quarterly board meetings
  4. Brainstorm ideas for publicizing new and old businesses
  5. Become a hub for information on the town and local recreation and tourism opportunities
  6. Holding regular, consistent weekly hours

So far this week, I’ve taken some meetings with business leaders, been interviewed, and have been updating the Facebook page to be more accurate. For instance, you will see the old website link (which no longer exist) has been removed.

For those watching the progress of the Chamber since last week, We’ve gotten much done already. Here is the work that I personally completed:

1) Built Facebook business page for the Chamber
2) Purchased a web domain and hosting for the Chamber (reimbursed)
3) Have been maintaining regular hours
4) Created a new “Open Hours” sign reflecting the new hours
5) Selected the board
6) Attended a grassroots economic development event at the Alabama Extension Farm Center

Design for new "Open Hours" sign, by Eric Hepperle Designs, 2018
Design for new “Open Hours” sign.(Eric Hepperle Designs, 2018)

And, on Monday I had the pleasure of signing up a new member! My first! 🙂

I’m very much looking forward to revealing our new board to the public at a meet-and-greet we are holding on August 16 at the Farm Center and the public is invited. Come find out who your new chamber board is and what the Chamber can do for you and your business!

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Cade Clausell


Eric I don’t know if you remember Dan Raffield but I’m his mom. I live in Panama City. My mother in law was raised in Hartford and family in surrounding areas. It’s just a coincidence . Just had to let u know. I don’t think Dan is attending the reunion. Keep your eyes and ears open for the sing in Chipley this fall. It’s at Sassers homestead by the Chipley waterfalls either in September or October. They have it twice a year. Good singing and I’m sure you will enjoy.

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