Changes coming in large doses for Asheboro/Randolph Chamber

Kelly Heath is interim president of the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber. (Courtesy photo)

Search firm to be used to find new president

ASHEBORO – Changes are in the works for the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber, with a search firm hired to assist in the selection of a new president.

“It’s going to take someone who’s coming in with a vision,” said HR Gallimore, who’s chair of the Chamber’s executive committee. “We’re looking forward to finding the right person.”

Linda Brown left her post as president of Asheboro/Randolph Chamber months ago to take a job at Randolph Community College.

Kelly Heath, a past chair of the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber, is holding the position of interim president. Heath is also a member of the Asheboro City Council.

Two Chamber staff members are also leaving the organization next month. Rhoda Workman, vice president of finance and operations, and Amy Rudisill, vice president of membership and events, are on their way out.

“Sometimes nonprofits, and particularly smaller nonprofits like the Chamber, go through this,” Heath said.

Gallimore, an owner of ReMax Central Realty, said it’s not just a time of change for the Chamber, but for the county as a whole.

“It’s a transition for our community,” he said. “Randolph County isn’t going to look the same in 10 years.”

With new industries moving in that should provide numerous employment opportunities, Gallimore said the Chamber wants to be in tune with the changes that will accompany that.

Last week, Gallimore said the search for a new president could take an additional 90-120 days.

“We are a few weeks in, so we’re hopeful to have someone in place by June,” he said.

Heath said it will be good to have “fresh eyes” in key Chamber seats with the evolving landscape.

In a memo to Chamber members, Gallimore pointed out the need for more direct contact between Chamber personnel and Chamber members. “Our long-term goal is to focus on the services we provide to you,” he wrote.

With that, Chamber members have been notified that the office staffing will be limited from April 8 through June.

“We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through this,” Gallimore wrote. “While our service levels to you may not be as they usually are, please know that our commitment to you will not wane.”

Gallimore said that it’s encouraging that many Chamber members have come forward to offer services. That has helped fill in the gaps, particularly in certain areas of expertise.

“That’s a good sign,” he said.

A process to choose a new president was initiated in the fall, but that didn’t result in a hire. Several months later, it was determined to re-launch that endeavor.

Heath said using a search firm that specializes in chamber-type hires is a bonus.

“We’re excited to be able to tap into that process,” she said.

Heath had been a special assistant to the president at Randolph Community College, where she worked for 14½ years, prior to her retirement in August. Before that, she was with the Randolph County Partnership for Children in Asheboro.

While she’s not in a full-time role with the Chamber, Heath was chair of the executive committee in 2020 and 2021 and she has volunteered with the Chamber for 18-plus years.

“It was just designed to be for a short period of time,” she said of the interim role. “But this is an organization that has meant so much to me.”

Keeping members abreast of the changes will be among the objectives, Heath said.

“We remain incredibly committed to our members,” she said. “It’s just going to be a little different for a while.”

Receptions are being held during the first week in April at the Chamber for Workman on Monday (April 1) and for Rudisill on Friday (April 5). Both are scheduled for 2-4 p.m.

By Bob Sutton