Tamaka Hudson

Polk County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tamaka Hudson oversaw her final meeting as she plans to step down later this month. (Kevin Myrick/Standard Journal)

The Polk County Chamber of Commerce is seeking a new leader as Executive Director Tamaka Hudson prepares to finish out her last days at work in their Rockmart office.

A longtime member of the Chamber staff, Hudson’s term as the Chamber’s leader will come to a close next week but a Thursday evening event is planned to wish her well on her next endeavor at the Chamber office at 133 S. Marble St., Rockmart from 5 to 7 p.m. The informal get-together will be Hudson’s “retirement” party from the Chamber, but she plans to continue working in the future.

Hudson said she was unsure of what she would be doing next at this point in her career, and didn’t have any additional comment other than she was glad that she was able to work with a great staff and various board members during her time at the Chamber, and she hopes to watch Polk County grow from the sidelines in the future.

The Chamber is already busy working to find Hudson’s replacement with the hopes of having a new candidate start by Jan. 1, 2018.

Chamber board chair Britt Madden Jr. told members it was his intention for a new board chair to have a new executive director hired and on the job by the time Jan. 1 rolls around, so that “everyone can start out fresh together.”

In order to get to that point, the Chamber first needs some candidates to interview. They approved of getting a listing up online with Chamber of Commerce-based job marketing in hopes of finding a candidate quickly, and Hudson said she would help with that process in her final days.

Additionally, the Chamber board also put together a new job description for the next Chamber executive director, with preferences put on any candidate having a Bachelor’s degree, experience in chamber-related organizations and marketing, and a bonus for those with management experience already. Only one question was raised by board member Janet Ross, who wondered whether the Chamber board should consider adding in a clause that if those who might require Americans with Disabilities Act additional support when visiting sites in the county where that isn’t available, that it might be worth looking into adding that into the job description to avoid any further issues.

Board members unanimously approved the new job description, then went about the work of putting together a hiring committee including Elizabeth Walls, Debbie Ross, Michelle Ruper, Mike Hunter and ex-officio member Edward Guzman, who represents the City of Cedartown.

That committee will be responsible for selecting candidates to make it to the second round of interviews and providing the board a choice of a final selection to take over the job.

Those with experience and interested in applying can find out more information from the Chamber at 770-684-8760.