• The new leadership dines on good food and a review of past accomplishments.

New leadership starts off a new year for the Polk County Chamber of Commerce, who celebrated some of their 2017 accomplishments with members during a breakfast event last week. One of those new members, Chick-fil-A of Rockmart, provided the meal and also a speaker for the gathering that also allowed for new Chamber Executive Director Blair Elrod to introduce herself to those community partners she hasn’t met yet.

Most of all, the event allowed for the Chamber to focus on what’s ahead too, and seek support for goals being set by the board in the months to come.

“This year we are eager to continue this celebration and support these businesses and individuals that enhance our community through their service and commitment to Polk County,” Elrod said.

If last year’s list is any indication, there’s a lot for the Chamber to do. In 2017 alone, they brought back a leadership class in LEAD Polk, which Elrod acted as president before graduating from the program in November. Additionally they organized the 40th annual Homespun Festival, achieving record attendance and profits, added new members to the Chamber like Chick-fil-A and Martin’s Restaurant in Rockmart, and hosted the 5th annual State of the Community address.

All of that was done under the leadership of former Executive Director Tamaka Hudson, who departed in November. Now that new leadership is on board and Elrod is getting settled in, new Chamber board chair Elizabeth Walls said to members that more is to come.

We are thrilled about the new beginnings at the Chamber for 2018,” Walls said. “The Chamber values its’ members and through their input and feedback we are excited about the future. We want to encourage everyone to get involved with our activities and events to enhance the quality of life here in Polk County.”

Along with committee updates for Workforce and Development from Polk County College and Career Academy Katie Thomas and on Business Development by Chick-fil-A owner Zach Thomas, members also got to meet 2018 board members, give thanks to those who served in 2017 and more.

This year’s chamber board is made up of Walls as chair, Debbie Ross as vice-chair, Michelle Ruper as treasurer, Patty Tillery, Jodi Dingler, Janie Smith, Katie Thomas PhD., Mike Hunter, Cody Nichols, Zach Thomas, Rayford Horne, Janet Ross, Stacey Lovvorn