Elaine Abercrombie

Elaine Abercrombie

Rome Floyd Chamber Membership Director Jeanne Krueger has been named as Interim Director. Krueger will officially assume her responsibilities from Al Hodge at the 2019 Annual Meeting on Jan. 24. Hodge, who had announced last fall that he would retire in April, has decided to step away from the post three months earlier than expected.

In the wake of Hodge’s retirement plan, the annual meeting will be a celebration of his 21 years of leadership, along with the passing of the gavel from Pete McDonald to Elaine Abercrombie.

"Most fortunately, Jeanne and the rest of the team are professionals and we are accelerating the transition, enabling me to retire from the Chamber," Hodge said. "The components are in place for good folks to continue and do even better."

Hodge said he has complete confidence in Krueger’s ability to lead the Chamber going forward.

"As time progressed, a positive reality is that most of the team have been there for more than five years, some as many as 15 years. They are good, they're competent, they are prepared to move forward, so the three-month transition was sufficient," Hodge said.

Krueger is a native Roman, a graduate of West Rome High School and Shorter College, and resides with her husband of 32 years, Mark. Her daughter Shelby is a teacher at Unity Christian School and her son Anderson is a senior at Kennesaw State University.

Krueger brings with her 25 years of Chamber experience, most of which were spent as a consultant with the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Krueger has been the director of membership at the Rome Floyd Chamber for the last three years.

"I think this gives us more time to plan for the new year that is upon us and we're just excited to work together as a team and serve our members as rigorously as we always have," Krueger said.

Asked if she was a candidate for the position on a full-time basis, Krueger said, "I don't think so. I think I am the interim for now and I appreciate the opportunity."

Membership has thrived under her direction, and her familiarity with those members and the day-to-day business at the Chamber should allow for a smooth transition for the entire staff and everyone involved with the Chamber.

Until Rome and Floyd County government leaders make a final determination as to the direction they are going to take moving forward with industrial recruitment, the role of the Chamber and the role of a Chamber president are still in some state of limbo. The county government and Chamber board have approved a transition of those responsibilities away from the Chamber to an independent authority, which could end up being the existing Rome-Floyd County Development Authority. The city commission, however, has not voted to embrace the change.

The annual meeting will be held Jan. 24 at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Aviation Training Center at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Chamber's annual Small Business of the Year Award will be presented during the session as well as its Ambassador of the Year honor.