The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization with 1,200+ members formed almost 170 years ago to be the voice of business in West Georgia. The Chambers mantra is, “We Do Amazing,” and if you spend any time in Columbus, you will find this to be true.
Its members range in size from Fortune 500 corporations to small businesses as well as non-profit agencies to colleges and universities. The Chamber provides a variety of programs and services for its members and the business community including economic development retention and expansion efforts, business recruitment, small business engagement and networking, Young Professionals group, Leadership Columbus, educational and workforce partnership programs, military affairs with Fort Benning and government advocacy activities. With an annual budget of over $2.8MM, a 15 person staff, and a 26-member volunteer Board of Directors, the Chamber was the first Chamber of Commerce in Georgia to achieve a 5 Star rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber works closely with a variety of partners and affiliates throughout the region including the Valley Partnership (6-county bi-state regional economic development branding and business recruitment); Development Authority of Columbus (economic development); Fort Benning Partnership (military affairs); Muscogee County School District; Columbus Consolidated Government (city and county); Phenix City (AL) government; Phenix City-Russell County Chamber; Uptown Columbus; Columbus State University and many others. More information about the Chamber can be found on its website: www.columbusgachamber.com.
The President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) reports to the Chair of the Chamber’s 26-member Board of Directors and is also a member of the 6-member Executive Committee of the Board. The CEO will have a key leadership role in creating, directing, and influencing policy development and economic development functions.
Other important interactions for the CEO include Chamber member organizations; local, bi-state and national elected officials; education officials; military leaders of Fort Benning and the Pentagon; and representatives of other chambers, economic development, and business-focused organizations in the region.
Note: The listed duties are only illustrative and are not intended to describe every function that may be performed by this job. The omission of specific statements does not preclude the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from assigning additional duties not listed.
Lead in the execution of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce Strategic Plan and continue to facilitate the Columbus 2025 initiative.
Work in concert with the Executive Vice President of Economic Development and Executive Vice President of Workforce Development to aggressively promote economic growth in Columbus by attracting, retaining, and expanding small, medium, and large businesses as well as a qualified workforce.
Together with the Director of Military Affairs, maintain and promote community-wide support for Fort Benning; strengthen military and community relationships by seeking opportunities for businesses and organizations to become more involved as well as position the Columbus area's resources to maintain and improve the active-duty military value by promoting an exemplary military/community
Work with Chamber staff and volunteers, to maintain effective member relations with the existing 1,200+ member organizations, and work to expand membership base. Grow Chamber membership to a level that will ensure necessary income for the operation of existing programs and future growth. Maintain outstanding and on-going communication with members through on-site visits, publications, and emails and in concert with local
Tell the Chamber’s story. Serve as an official spokesperson of the Chamber to the public at large and the local and regional print and electronic media. Communicate the organization's position on community, regional, public, and political issues.
Provide leadership to the Chamber and stewardship to the financial partners and maintain strong ongoing investor relations. Responsibly manage and implement a well-defined, measurable, and outcome-based capital plan and related fiscal matters to grow the revenue base through increased investment, expanded and/or improved revenue opportunities, and other sources.
Develop an effective government affairs initiative.
Lead in the continuation of building partnerships and programs with Columbus State University, Columbus Technical College of Georgia, Georgia Department of Economic Development, and other local, state, regional, and national organizations.
Assure proper level of coordination and leadership among Chamber's programs and those of other partners, businesses, and related organizations within the community and the region.
Work in concert with the Executive Vice President of Leadership and Community Development to maintain and enhance services and programs offered, including networking, advocacy, small business development, women and minority business development, trade shows, and related community and business-focused events, among others.
Administer the development and implementation of annual activities and budgets and monitor the procedures and reports necessary for sound management.
Advise the Board of Directors of economic and community development issues that affect the area.
Represent the Chamber at official functions on the local, regional, state, national, and, as required, international level.
Assure that daily activities of the organization work smoothly to serve members, partners, the community, and others, as appropriate.
Fulfill any special assignments or duties as directed by the Board of Directors.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
Economic development experience and expertise, including a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practices of economic development.
Experience in developing and executing strategic and capital plans for a multi-faceted organization.
History of creating programs and initiatives that focuses on increasing economic vitality and quality of life.
Knowledge of business start-ups, entrepreneurship, and sources of capital.
Successful experience forging productive alliances across private, public, and governmental sectors and leading public/private partnerships.
Has actively promoted an organization, track record of membership retention, increased value, and appropriate expansion.
Experience effectively developing and managing programs and interactions within and outside of the Chamber.
Demonstrated ability to manage the financial affairs of an organization and communicate effectively with investors.
Experience in marketing and selling a community and region.
Understanding of workforce training and development issues and implementing programs in collaboration with educational partners to address needs.
Strong background interacting and communicating with multiple audiences at the public, private, and media level; strong public speaking abilities. Ability to effectively articulate goals, objectives, and policy positions of the Chamber to the media and the community.
Excellent listener; outstanding written and oral communication skills; effective presentation skills to multiple audiences.
Experience bringing groups and individuals together around complex issues.
Experience with governance issues and Board of Directors interactions.
LEADERSHIP AND PERSONAL SKILLS
Strategic visionary thinker – ability to set sights on a new future, constantly identifying challenges, threats, and opportunities that exist in the environment – ability to think differently about how the business environment operates and look for new ways to solve these problems.
Communicator - open and candid about the state of the business environment, acknowledges concerns, works at building morale, celebrates wins, and encourages others to be proactive about helping to improve the business environment within the region.
Relationship building - ability to ensure alignment within the organization so that everyone is working towards the same goals and that they understand any changes in direction.
Inclusion - promotes diversity and inclusion in developing, attracting, and retaining minority-owned businesses and interests.
Networker – the ability to build collaborative and productive relationships with others both inside and outside economic development organizations, and maintains a wide network of contacts that can be leveraged on behalf of the organization's goals.
Impact and Influence - have the ability to generate support from others to achieve the desired outcome, especially in situations where there is no clear “ownership” of the issue under discussion. Exhibit this competency in a planned and strategic way, never randomly. Encourage others to want to follow them even when they don’t have to.
Drive for Results - have the ability to continually focus on achieving positive, concrete results that contribute to the business success of the organization. Display a genuine passion for the region. Seek ways to overcome competitive challenges and develop opportunities.
Ability and demonstrated success in working with groups to develop strategies to attract industry.
Able to "connect-the-dots" – able to accurately assess situations, offer realistic ways for improvement, and help stakeholders understand what they can contribute.
Adaptive - flexible and focused on continuous improvement, ability to look for new ways to find solutions.
Developing People - discusses development needs with employees and provides them with opportunities and visibility, as well as advice and coaching. Shows a sincere interest in developing talent for the benefit of the organization. Has skill in guiding new employees through an orientation process, coaches on job performance, gives feedback, empowers, and suggests corrective action as appropriate.
Ability to operate one-on-one, as a peer, with local business CEO's, academic leaders, and elected officials.
Strong organizational leader that can engage the business community, local elected officials, and community leaders in a functioning and vital public/private partnership.
About Greater Columbus GA Chamber of Commerce
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