Greater Shelby Chamber kicks off new five-year campaign

HOOVER – The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce plans to $1.75 million over the next five years to grow existing business; promote workforce readiness, recruit “new to market” businesses and advocate for business.

The Chamber kicked off its ShelbyOne – Next Level Up! campaign at a breakfast on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at Inverness Country Club.

Chamber President and CEO Kirk Mancer said officials wanted to implement a new five-year plan for 2018-2022 even before the current ShelbyOne campaign ended.

“We’ve accomplished quite a bit over the past five years, but this new and expanded program of work takes our Chamber to the next level,” Mancer said. “With the exceptionally strong leadership, from both the private and the public sector signing on to lend their endorsement of these initiatives, we’re excited about the direction we’re headed.”

The original ShelbyOne campaign included expanded programs in the areas of business development and support, community and workforce development, governmental relations and marketing of the county and the organization.

ShelbyOne – Next Level Up!, developed by business and community leaders from throughout the county, continues the Chamber’s collaborative partnerships with public and private sector leaders working together to assist in growth for existing businesses, career readiness, business advocacy and direct involvement with recruiting new to market retail, commercial and industry throughout Shelby County.

“They truly are the community’s initiatives,” Mancer said.

The $1.75 million budget for the campaign will be spread among the four focuses: growth of existing business (35 percent), workforce readiness (30 percent), recruitment (20 percent) and advocacy (15 percent).

Mancer announced at the event that investors had already committed to almost $1 million of the campaign’s goal.

Campaign co-chairmen Mike Thompson of Thompson Tractor Company and Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock spoke at the kick-off.

Thompson talked about his roots in the county.

“This will create more and better jobs for our residents,” he said about the campaign. “Working together, we can make Shelby County an even better place to live and to do business.”

Dudchock said engagement from business leadership is crucial in addressing challenges faced by the county and its municipalities.

“It’s about you and what we can do for you and your business through this initiative,” he said.

Initiative co-chairs include: William Carroll, Armstrong Relocation Companies; Casey Morris, Ground Up Coffee & Smoothies; Paul Rogers, NobleBank & Trust; Terri Williams, AT&T; Keith Richards, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café’; Mechelle Wilder, ARC Realty; Joe Meads, Sain Associates; Alison Howell, Alabama Power Company; Handlon, mayor of Alabaster; and Stancil Handley, mayor of Columbiana.