GSCC president moving on

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Whisenant speaks during the Chamber's Jan. 25 annual luncheon. During the luncheon, Chamber officials announced Whisenant will be stepping down from ber Chamber position to become the executive director of the Birmingham Auto Dealers Association. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Whisenant will be stepping down from her Chamber position in February to become executive director of the Birmingham Auto Dealers Association.

The announcement came during the Chamber’s Jan. 25 annual meeting at the Pelham Civic Complex, during which chamber officials seated a new board of directors and looked back at the past year.

Whisenant said the Chamber’s board of directors will meet Feb. 1 to determine how and when the Chamber will fill the vacancy.

“It’s just a way for me to stay involved in the community,” Whisenant said. “They (the Auto Dealers Association) do a lot of community work, and a lot of it goes unseen.

“I think it will be a challenge, but I am excited about it,” she added.

Whisenant has served as president of the Chamber for the past six years, and has overseen the creation of several new Chamber events, such as networking meetings and, Shelby Blues and Barbecue and the annual clay shoot at Selwood Farm.

Whisenant also said she has seen a “tremendous growth” in Chamber membership.

“For the past six years, it has been my privilege to serve as the president of the Greater Shelby Chamber,” Whisenant wrote in a Jan. 24 letter to the Chamber Board of Directors. “We’ve had tremendous success with the events and initiatives as we have grown the Greater Shelby Chamber to be the best chamber in the region.

“I have been presented with an opportunity that seems exactly right for me personally and professionally,” Whisenant wrote. “Effective February 6, 2012, I will become the executive director of the Birmingham Auto Dealers Association, allowing me to stay involved with various nonprofit organizations, and also challenging me to grow the Auto Dealers organization.”

The Birmingham Auto Dealers Association formed in 1967, and represents more than 45 automotive dealerships in Shelby and Jefferson counties. The Auto Dealers Association holds training classes for auto sales representatives, organizes charitable events and contributes to several local charities each year.

Each year, the Auto Dealers Association also hosts the Alabama International Auto Show, which is held at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.

During the Jan. 25 meeting, the Chamber also introduced its 2012 board of directors.

This year’s board members are Howard Bailey with Neil Bailey Investments, Keith Barfield with Barfield, Murphy, Shank and Smith PC, Tim Bowen with Alabama Power, Keith Brown with Jefferson State Community College, John Browning with Cahaba Valley Computer Services, Dave Davis with Legacy Community Federal Credit Union, Phillip Heard with Alabama Gas, Silvia Hoyos with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama and Vivian Johnson with Sam’s Club.

Other board members are Bill Keller with Regions Bank, Lisa McMahon with Warren, Averett, Kimbrough and Marino PC, Shelby County Reporter Publisher Tim Prince, Paul Rogers with Aliant Bank, Joe Sullivan with Sullivan Communications, Clint Umphrey with Texas Roadhouse, Mike Vest with the Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports, April Weaver with Shelby Baptist Medical Center and Terri Williams with AT&T.