Friday, June 6, 2014
The Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce welcomed new leadership April 1 with the arrival of Jeff Smith, as president and CEO.
With him comes an effort to refocus the Chamber on one of its most important functions: business development.
“Our membership is 85-90 percent small businesses. We are going to be producing more programming that’s beneficial to them,” he said.
Smith said it was easy to identify programming as an area of improvement with the help of the board of directors. The Chamber already has a well-organized tourism department and visitor center, he said.
“Our areas are all distinct so we will make sure we are having conversations with all of our groups to fill as many needs as we can.”
The Chamber will create membership programming, which will first be implemented later this year and into next, he said. Although Smith said the Chamber doesn’t have specific plans yet, the programming will be “to help businesses do business better.”
“You should walk away from something we put on with a substantive knowledge of things you can apply to your business,” Smith explained.
He said the Chamber also plans on participating in more advocacy work on behalf of its members, such as being more involved in upcoming election seasons. They’re also working toward joining forces with other area chambers to start a coastal chamber coalition.
Smith brought with him more than eight years of experience in chamber work from Greenwood, from which he is still in the process of moving.
He and Lisa, his wife of 29 years – a teacher about to retire – have two adult children, who also plan on moving to the Georgetown area in the future, he said.
Smith said he would “like to think I’m a people-person.”
He said his favorite part of working with the Chamber is meeting people and interacting with the public.
“It’s very rewarding work. You meet absolutely everybody.
“I’m excited to get started.”