Calera Chamber announces new executive director

By Ginny Cooper McCarley/For the Reporter

CALERA – The Calera Chamber of Commerce recently named Alabaster resident and small-business owner Jennifer Hand as its new executive director.

“I’m very excited,” Hand said of the new position. “I’ve had a very warm reception. The business owners I’ve spoken to and met have been really receptive.”

Jennifer Hand

Jennifer Hand

Hand, who worked as a CPA in private industry for 22 years, recently left the industry to work full-time in her own business, Family Memories Travel.

“The chamber is not just for big business, but for small businesses too,” Hand said, noting she will be able to identify with business owners as she grows her own company.

Hand was chosen from a pool of 10 applicants, who interviewed for the position in October.

“We had a great selection that we could choose from,” Calera Chamber of Commerce President Holly Stanley said. “She (Hand) had the energy and she had the ideas we were looking for.”

Going forward, Hand hopes to be accessible and visible in the community.

“My plan is to be accessible,” said Hand, who plans to have eight in-office hours a week where business leaders can ask questions, as well as eight hours a week out in the community.

In addition, Hand plans to increase the chamber by 100 percent in the next two years and engage the community through public media.

Hand, who has two teenage boys, said she was looking forward to working with the Calera Junior Chamber.

“I could not be any more impressed with the Junior Chamber and being engaged with them is something I’m really, really looking forward to,” Hand said.

For Jeff Purvis, who will take on the role of Calera Chamber of Commerce president for the upcoming year, working with Hand will be a “great move” for the chamber.

“She knows business and understands what they’re dealing with every day,” Purvis said. “I think she will be a wonderful asset for the chamber.”