Jackson chamber gets new assistant director

Kelly Donaldson, 42, of Cullowhee, began work June 9 as the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center new assistant director.

Donaldson’s addition is a part of a restructuring plan by the Jackson chamber ‘s board of directors to plot a fresh new path for future growth in the area.

“Kelly will bring a new skill set and level of professionalism that our merchants, citizens and visitors will adore,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Spiro. “We’re excited about the potential for growth within our chamber and community. Kelly will provide an invigorating level of staff support, event planning, growth of commerce, and visitor and community service to the chamber.”

Donaldson comes from serving seven years as editor at the Crossroads Chronicle in Cashiers. Previously, he worked seven years as a sports editor in Gainesville, Ga., Morganton, and Brevard. He also has experience in marketing, public relations, photography, fundraising and graphic design. 

Donaldson has been a member of the board of directors for the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, (2010-12); the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association (2012-present); the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry (2012-present); the Cashiers Preservation Foundation (2011-12); and several others, including Relay for Life and Make-A-Wish. 

“We as a board decided to make an aggressive and proactive move to increase our value and presence in the community,” said Jackson Chamber Board President Thom Brooks, of Southwestern Community College. “We are proud to have one of the best Chamber Executive Directors in the state in Julie Spiro. Kelly will give her the assistance and support she needs to fully execute the goals of the chamber, our citizens and our visitors. This is a move to propel ourselves into the future with a level of stability and vision unlike anything we’ve planned before.”

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