Walkup confidently leads South Shelby Chamber

Published 4:24 pm Monday, April 5, 2010

The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce represents the towns and municipalities of Chelsea, Columbiana, Harpersville, Mt Laurel, Vincent, Westover, Wilsonville and the communities of Shelby, The Kingdom, Summer Hill, Four Mile and Bay Springs.

Tim Prince, president, said the mission is “To support stability and growth for the business community by providing services that cultivate economic expansion and development. The chamber is business and professional people working together to make your community the best place to live, work and raise your family.”

The success of the Chamber is due to its 350-400 active members, dedicated officers and board, and the hard-working Executive Director Stacy Hedrick Walkup. Walkup has been at the helm since January 2004, following former director Bonnie Atchison’s retirement.

Born in Albany, Ga., Walkup moved as a child to Shelby County. She obtained a business administration degree from Ole Miss. She moved to Atlanta to work and met her future husband, Kevin Walkup.

Through “divine guidance,” Stacy said, the Walkups, with young son, Grant, moved to Columbiana in 1998 to their home on Mildred Street. Shortly after, her parents, Dan and Beth Hedrick, and later her paternal grandparents moved to homes on Mildred.

Stacy and Beth started a consignment shop called the Little Red Hen, also on Mildred. Mildred Street became a true family affair.

In 2003, the Hen was sold. One day Atchison was in the store along with Katie Robertson, commenting about her retirement. Robertson looked at Stacy and said, “Bonnie, what about Stacy following you as director?” Atchison instantly agreed.

Walkup has led the Chamber though a period of membership growth and new programs. Because of her diverse business background, she has developed individualized services to aid South Shelby businesses.

Among Walkup’s accomplishments are: the Kaleidoscope newsletter and Web site; the Ambassadors Program; the South Shelby Mayors Association; partnering with the Shelby County Extension Center to help identify businesses which will come to our area; the Diamond Awards Banquet, new business ribbon cutting ceremonies; and Chamber luncheons.

To learn more about the Chamber, visit Southshelbychamber.com.

Phoebe Robinson can be reached by e–mail at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.