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Chamber picks insider for president

By Justin Boron

jboron@news-daily.com

Searching across the nation, the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors selected a candidate from inside its organization to head up the local business coalition's administrative affairs.

At its regular meeting Monday afternoon, the chamber board unanimously voted Shane Short president and chief executive officer.

Short had served as interim president and already had almost nine years with the organization.

The former president Matt Carlson resigned abruptly in December after eight months with the chamber.

Jack Hancock, chairman of the chamber board, said the decision to pick an internal candidate, instead of going outside the organization, came down to practicality.

"He could provide us with the kind of leadership immediately that this chamber needed," he said. "There's no three to four month ramp up period."

Short, who has served on the board as a vice chairman, owns a a Hampton advertising firm called Southern Crescent Promotions.

He said he thought the board's decision would make for a more seamless transition.

"There's a learning curve that doesn't have to take place," he said.

The president selection comes at a time when the chamber has struggled to kick off a membership campaign, resulting in some financial constraints, said board treasurer Geoff Fulton at the meeting.

It also comes as the chamber, along with the city of Morrow, will host a group of Hungarian business people, looking for economic opportunities in the Southeast.

Giving his first report as president, Short said he wanted to keep a closer watch on the organization's communications, particularly for Focus, its monthly publication.

He said punctual delivery had been a problem.

But his overall outlook for the chamber and its service to the business community was good.

"I know we've got some positive things ahead of us," he said. "I'm looking forward to great days ahead."