For more than a century, the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce has worked to unite and promote local businesses and their interests and the industries and commerce they represent.
This year marks 125 years for the chamber and as it celebrates this historic milestone, the time has come to pass the gavel to the next chair.
Over the course of the years, men and women have been elected to help further that cause by serving as chair.
This Saturday the chamber hosts its annual meeting at Tellus Science Museum and chair Wayne Moore will pass the mantle to Adena Harper, who said she plans to continue to move forward with the vision of the chamber, its board and members.
“We have has a vision of growth and unity within our chamber membership,” Harper said. “This vision will continue into 2014. I have been blessed that Wayne Moore, 2013 chairman, included me on his planning and preparation. His encouragement and support have been invaluable to me as I begin my year as chairman.”
Harper said she is humbled yet ready to be chair during the chamber’s milestone anniversary year.
“I am thrilled to be the chairman as we celebrate this year with our community,” Harper said.
“I sincerely appreciate the confidence that many people have placed in me to encourage and support me. I am also very proud to be the first chamber chair from Adairsville.”
Harper moved to Adairsville in 2008 with her husband, Bartow County Schools Superintendent John Harper, and their two sons Seth and Shane. Harper said her family was immediately welcomed into the community.
“What a true testament of a community that welcomed people without knowing their background or what brought them here,” Harper said.
Harper said it is the community that makes Bartow County special.
“I feel everyone in our community is important,” Harper said. “We all can contribute our talents, time and resources to make our community a better place.”
Harper, who earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the College of Charleston and a master’s degree in public administration from both the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina, said her desire has always been to get involved and give back in some way.
Before coming to Bartow County she worked as a planner in the county planning department in Charleston. Since 1998 she has worked as an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics. She has been an independent sales director for the past 10 years.
Harper has been involved with the chamber through the Ambassador Committee, the Cookout Committee and the Business Showcase. She also serves as chair of the Adairsville Council, which hosts the monthly Eggs and Issues Breakfast and the Business Essentials Luncheon.
Harper said as chair she plans to implement the vision of the chamber board. “The vision that our board of directors has shared with me is a vision of growth,” Harper said.
That growth involves showing members how to grow their businesses, show support for the community through new business developments and existing businesses while continuing to increase membership.
Harper said her specific plans for the chamber include completing a strategic plan. She also wants share with other small business owners how to grow their businesses by utilizing their chamber membership.
Moore said Harper will be a great asset as chair.
“Adena Harper is going to do an excellent job,” Moore said. “She pays attention to detail and she’s a hard worker. The most important thing about Adena is that she cares.”