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New chairman wants Douglas Chamber to be local businesses’ ‘voice’
by Liz Marino
lmarino@neighbornewspapers.com
January 16, 2013 11:07 AM | 1489 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston<br>Douglas Chamber Of Commerce 2013 Chairman John Sell stands in front of the organization’s Douglasville headquarters.
Staff / Joe Livingston
Douglas Chamber Of Commerce 2013 Chairman John Sell stands in front of the organization’s Douglasville headquarters.
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If John Sell has his way about it, the Douglas County Chamber will become the “voice” for local business during his tenure at the helm.

“We want to be the voice for local business when the state or local government is putting something in place that will affect business in our community,” Sell said.

As the incoming 2013 chamber chairman, Sell will officially receive the gavel at the Feb. 2 annual awards gala from outgoing 2012 Chairman Alan Smith.

However, the work has already begun for Sell and the board, as they are in the process of putting together a strategic plan for the 700-member organization which includes increasing diversity among membership, offering better value to its members and being a more effective, stronger voice in the community.

“We have committed to asking how to be a better organization,” he said. “What can the chamber do to help you succeed in business?”

The focus is on how the chamber can provide value to the members and community at large, Sell explained.

“With collaboration, our mission is to promote, support and attract business for the advancement of our community,” he said. “We want to be the voice for local business.”

His goal also is to look at technology and how the chamber communicates with its members.

“We came out of a retreat in October looking at what direction we want the chamber to take and how do we become a bigger influence in the community,” he said.

“The next step is to become an effective chamber.”

Increasing cultural diversity among chamber membership is another goal.

“We would like to recruit culturally diverse businesses into the organization,” said Sell. “We want to help grow their businesses.

“Success breeds success — and with it will come more needed jobs in the community.”

Sell is the Austell area manager for Georgia Power Co., for whom he has worked since 1997. He came to the utility company with 12 years experience in newspapers and the public affairs field.

He and his wife, Beverly, have two grown daughters, Briana, 24, and Chelsea, 23.

Sell is confident in the leadership capabilities of the board of directors he will lead this year.

“We have a very good board that looked at itself to see what we do well and what we can do better,” said the chairman.

He praised the three networking opportunities the chamber hosts each month, and successful leadership programs including Leadership Douglas, Young Professionals and the Diplomats.

Sell said he wants to tap into the leadership development aspect of these programs.

“We want to take the best and brightest and put them on the board to sustain our membership,” he explained.

“We want to grow leadership throughout the community, wherever their passion lies.”
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