If Columbia County Chamber of Commerce officials were looking to create goodwill with their choice of the agencys first full-time director, they certainly went to the right place.
Gordon Renshaw, director of community relations for Goodwill Industries, takes over in a couple of weeks from interim director Andy Kingery.
The biggest quality is the energy level he brings, says Mark Wills, chairman of the chamber board. I just see a lot of great things for Columbia County and the Columbia County Chamber with his energy behind it.
Renshaw is indeed an energetic fellow. He first came to Augusta as director of business services for Goodwill, and later replaced the affable Jeff Blake as the agencys local spokesman.
Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA - a sprawling, Macon-to-Augusta territory - is the fastest-growing Goodwill in the entire world. Renshaw hasnt just been along for the ride, either; his local efforts have helped Goodwill cement relationships in the local community that help the agencys mission of improving peoples lives by providing the training necessary for them to work and earn a living.
Renshaws mission with the Columbia County Chamber is to take the helm of the organization as it begins navigating toward greater autonomy from the Metro Augusta Chamber. A key part of that effort is an ongoing membership drive - and thats also Renshaws biggest challenge.
Fortunately, Renshaw doesnt have to shoulder the burden alone. Equally energetic insurance agent Tommy Norris is heading up the drive, and other volunteers have been working to bring new members into the Columbia County Chamber. If the experiment with autonomy is to succeed, the drive must bring in enough members to pay for the effort.
Renshaws leadership certainly increases the likelihood that the chamber, and Columbia County, will succeed.
A final note: Hats off to Andy Kingery. In just the short few months that Kingery served as the interim Chamber director, hes poured time and talent into a job that previously didnt even exist. Its a credit to his devotion to the community that he stuck around as long as he was needed. Hes a great act for Renshaw to follow.
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