CH@T: New ‘Strategic Plan,’ events on the horizon for Chamber


As the Chatham Chamber of Commerce plans in-person events and seeks new board members, we caught up this week with Cindy Poindexter, the president and CEO of the Chamber.

As a member-supported organization, the Chamber provides services and outreach to increase the visibility of its members among county residents, businesses, elected officials and awareness at a state, county and local level through business advocacy.

The Chamber’s new fiscal year is beginning, and you have a new chairman and — best of all — we’re emerging from the pandemic. Can you give us a “state of the Chamber” update?

Sharon Dickens of Edward Jones will take over the role of board chairperson as of October 1. Indira Everett of Duke Energy is the current chairperson.

The Chamber board and staff have been very busy working on our Strategic Plan while also working on several committees. The Chamber is getting back in full swing mode. There are still some virtual events being scheduled. In-person events are being scheduled as well. Members have missed networking opportunities and seeing others in general.

We have several events in the works. The Chamber Golf Tournament will be Aug. 23. The Chatham Development Briefing is set for Sept. 21 at the Chatham County Agriculture Center in Pittsboro. A Children’s Business Fair will take place on Oct. 9 in The Vineyards of Chatham Park. The Chamber’s Annual Meeting will occur on Nov. 17 at the Agriculture Center.

You’ve put out a call for new board members. Can you talk about what you’re looking for, and what the role involves? (And how interested parties get more information?)

We are looking for committed board members who want to help continue to drive the Chamber forward. Chatham is growing and we need and want to grow with it. The board is expected to be involved in at least one committee, serve as a goodwill arm of the Chamber, recruit member businesses and to assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities.

Board meetings occur five times per year. Committees meet monthly or every other month. Interested parties can contact me at 919-742-3333 or by email at Board members are required to be a Chamber member.

Much of the work at the Chamber is done in the organization’s committees. Can you outline the roles and objectives of the committees?

Chamber board members are working diligently on committees. The Finance Committee provides the financial oversight for the Chamber while the Membership Committee assists the board with responsibilities towards the Chamber’s mission, vision, and strategic direction. The Board Development & Governance Committee gives recommendations on how to build a better and more diverse board and provides a vehicle for training the board and opportunities for self-evaluation of the board. This committee also gives guidance in a timely succession plan for board leadership annually.

The Chamber’s Racial Equity and Equality Committee provides awareness, information, reflection and support (AIRS) to the Chamber as related to equity and equality. The committee also looks for opportunities to share information within the Chamber and among its members and focuses on opportunities to make the Chamber more diverse and inclusive. The Racial Equity and Equality Committee also acts as a role model, being an advocate to remove systemic racism in our community.

The Public Policy Committee supports the Chamber board and Chamber members by providing input and guidance on public policy issues that concern economic development, regional business climate and member services. A Strategic Plan Committee was established as an ad hoc committee to assist the board with its responsibilities related to the Chamber’s mission, vision, and strategic direction and is currently working on a new Strategic Plan.

The Chamber’s annual golf event is fast approaching. Can you give us details?

The tournament will take place at Governors Club on Aug. 23. Check-in is from 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 9:30. Golfers have to preregister online or by contacting the Chamber office at or 919-742-3333.

We are looking forward to another great tournament. Last year, we had 114 golfers. We hope to have even more golfers this year.

We’re excited at the News + Record about the 2021-22 edition of Chatham Life, the publication we put together in partnership with the Chamber. How does the Chamber utilize it?

The Chamber distributes the Chatham Life magazine through the Chamber offices and its events. We also include the magazine in relocation packets that go out when requested by new residents or those thinking of relocating to Chatham County.

We are looking forward to the 2021-22 edition of Chatham Life and our partnership with the Chatham News + Record.

Can you talk about what you’re seeing and hearing from your membership as we head into the summer? Some businesses weathered the pandemic in great shape, others suffered and closed…and now others are having difficulty hiring. What’s the word on the street from businesses in Chatham?

Hiring staff is the main issue that I have heard about from member businesses. Everywhere you look, there are “hiring” or “help wanted” signs. Some of our restaurants have not fully opened due to limited staff. There are those business that have weathered the pandemic well, for example, real estate agents, trucking, suppliers, financial related businesses, etc.


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