December 8, 2020 – The Chason Group has placed Christie Moore as the new president and chief executive officer for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce in Valdosta, GA. Tim Chason and Randy Cardoza spearheaded the assignment for the recruitment firm. The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to name Ms. Moore to the position effective Jan. 4.
Ms. Moore, who currently serves as president and CEO of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce in Dawsonville, GA, succeeds Myrna Ballard who is retiring this month. Ms. Ballard has a part of the Valdosta and Lowndes County community since 1995 when she was chosen as the vice president of economic development for the chamber. She assumed the top leadership role in 1997.
“Christie brings the passion and experience the board identified as key traits required to build upon our solid foundation already in place,” said Lee McArthur, chair of the chamber’s board and partner with CCB Tech Group. “She is a leader in the chamber profession with proven results to back up her successes. I describe Christie as an innovator, team builder and most importantly a listener.”
The CEO is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the non-profit business organization. Financial growth and management, talent development, and innovative strategic planning and implementation are key responsibilities. Ms. Moore will also be charged with providing oversight for the Valdosta Area Business Incubator construction project over the next 18 months.
The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce was seeking a professional who understands how a business-focused non-profit organization functions and its importance to the success of a community, said The Chason Group. Leadership, financial stability, strategic planning, staff development, communications (written, verbal and social media), team building, professionalism and business knowledge were cited as key attributes required for the position.
By all accounts, Ms. Moore was an ideal choice. “Christie is a terrific fit for our chamber,” said Ms. Ballard. “She brings a great deal of chamber experience to the job. The chamber staff and I feel that she is an excellent choice, and we all look forward to welcoming her to Valdosta and to the chamber.”
Ms. Moore has held her position in Dawsonville since 2012. The Dawson County chamber is responsible for business advocacy, tourism marketing and economic development. Among her accomplishments with the group, Ms. Moore implemented research-driven workforce best practices to champion local work-based learning initiatives though collaboration with the local school system, higher education institutions and local industry leaders.
A Strong Background
Under Ms. Moore’s guidance, the chamber successfully advocated for the passage of ESPLOST (education special purpose local option sales tax) to fund a college and career academy to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable students in Dawson County. She also led the campaign to reduce impact fees on the commercial sector to make it easier for already existing businesses to expand, as well as, to encourage increased entrepreneurial investment in the community.
Prior to Dawson County, Ms. Moore served as the leader of the Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce in southwest Georgia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in strategic communication from American University.
“My first order of business in January will be to listen,” said Ms. Moore. “I want to meet with members and non-members of the chamber, community advocates, regional leaders and the internal chamber team to learn what the strengths of the chamber are and what opportunities exist for the chamber to help enable businesses, nonprofits, and citizens to thrive.”
The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is composed of more than 1,100 members. Established in 1912, the business organization is the seventh largest in Georgia and is accredited as a five-star chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The organization has a staff of five full-time professionals. The board of directors has 18 members, including the president and general counsel. The organization includes seven major committees and programs, led by more than 200 volunteers.
The Chason Group, based in Cartersville, GA, specializes in executive-level searches for companies and non-profit organizations, strategic visioning plans, coordinating relationship building strategies and building operating structures. Mr. Chason, who has over 30 years of experience in the business and non-profit world, is a former executive with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the firm’s past executive searches include: president of North Georgia Community Foundation, president of Brunswick & Glynn County Development Authority and vice president of economic development for the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Cardoza has 38 years of economic and community development experience at the local, regional and state level. He served as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development for 10 years under three governors. Prior to being named commissioner, he was deputy commissioner for economic development for over three years.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media