The Blount County Chamber of Commerce and Blount Partnership have announced that Tammi Ford has been selected as the new vice president of chamber operations. Ford has been a member of the Chamber staff since 1988, most recently as executive vice president of communications.
“We’re excited about this promotion of Tammi in our organization and confident that she’ll meet and exceed the needs of our members,” says Bryan Daniels, president & CEO of the Blount Partnership. The Chamber is one of four organizations that are members of the partnership, including the Blount County Economic Development Board, the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Blount Chamber Foundation.
Daniels notes that a committee of the Blount Partnership conducted a national search for a candidate with chamber and partnership experience. “We believe Tammi is the best choice,” he says.
Ford’s responsibilities will include working with Daniels and the Chamber board of directors to develop the goals and objectives for the Chamber and managing the related day-to-day activities. This includes planning, budgeting, communications, membership, training and staff coordination.
The Blount County Chamber of Commerce is a Five Star Accredited Chamber, the highest designation awarded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that serves a population of approximately 125,000 and provides services and benefits to nearly 1,250 Chamber members.
“Five-star accreditation by the U.S. Chamber proves that we have a strong chamber of commerce that serves the business community, newcomers and visitors to the area,” Ford says. “Blount County is extremely fortunate. We have an awesome membership roster and a stellar staff and board of directors. I’m looking forward to taking us to the next level and seeking even more value-added opportunities for our members.”
Over the past 23 years, Ford has coordinated dozens of major events and dozens of publications. These activities generated diversified revenue for Chamber programs. She led the Chamber’s integrated social media initiative, including the Blount Area Jobs Board and an award-winning website. In addition, she supported the communications needs for all four Blount Partnership organizations.
“Tammi’s experience will be a great asset to the Chamber. She brings excitement and enthusiasm to this position and will strive to help our businesses be successful,” says Greg L. Wilson, First Tennessee Bank’s Maryville regional president and chair of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.
Her position as vice president of communications for the Blount Partnership will be filled, with the position advertised in regional industry publications. The partnership is also doing a national search to replace Herb Handly, who is retiring as executive vice president of the Smoky Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Those who have worked closely with Ford in her roles at the Chamber commend the committee’s decision. Lisa Hood Skinner of Ackermann PR, Inc. and vice chair of communications for the Blount Chamber calls the decision a win-win situation that benefits both the Chamber members and the Blount County community at large. “I’ve seen Tammi’s dedication and professionalism in designing the chamber’s marketing and communications programs to best benefit our business community. There’s no doubt she’ll bring that same passion and drive to her new position as VP of chamber operations,” She says.
A native of Blount County, Ford holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum College and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organizational Management. A member of the 2003 Leadership Blount class, she is active with several community organizations, including the Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center, United Way of Blount County, and the Knoxville Regional Celiac Support Group.
“I’ve had the privilege of working on a multitude of initiatives on behalf of the Chamber and Blount Partnership for the past 23 years,” Ford says. “I look forward to this opportunity to continue to serve the Blount County business community, and I encourage anyone in the business sector to share their ideas and suggestions with me.”
Ford can be reached at 865-983-2241 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.