Teresa Smith completed her first day as the full-time executive director of the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce Monday.
Smith previously filled in as a volunteer director for four years when the chamber suspended the job of a paid director to save money.
“I had a lot of encouragement from members of the board and different community people, and after much deliberation, I decided I would give it a try,” said Smith, who previously worked at the Maggie Valley Inn.
Smith said she hopes to set long-range goals for the chamber at its 2 p.m. meeting Thursday at Smoky Falls Lodge.
“I am sure that will be very focused toward some goal-setting,” Smith said, adding that the full-time position will allow her to be “more hands-on,” helping and promoting Maggie Valley businesses.
“We hope to be able to have a better presence,” she said.
The search committee for the position received seven applications.
“The committee felt Teresa has a working knowledge of the position and will be able to immediately assume the duties of Executive Director,” wrote Jena Sowers, manager of the chamber’s visitor center, in an email.
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority approved a $15,000 allocation to the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce to cover part of the new director’s salary.