The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce chose a new executive director Thursday.
Jim Tingen, of Evans, accepted the post and will start April 15.
"I really feel like this is the kind of job and responsibility I was made for," he said. "I really enjoy people. I really enjoy business. I really enjoy goal-setting.
"And I love Columbia County."
Tingen replaces Karen Chrjapin, who resigned last month over a budget dispute.
More than 40 people from across the country applied for the job, chamber board Chairman John T.Y. Smith said.
The Executive Committee had narrowed the field of candidates to three finalists -- Tingen; Tammy Shepherd, the chamber's director of programs; and John Carney, a former vice president of the Family Y and vice chairman of the chamber's Government Affairs committee.
Initial goals Tingen has set for himself as executive director include improving communications between the chamber board and staff, increasing the membership retention rate to at least 90 percent and increasing chamber membership by nearly 100 within a year.
Smith said the board's expectations for Tingen include developing a strong relationship with the county government and reaching out to home-based businesses, which Tingen said he understands.
"Not all of the businesses are storefronts," the 54-year-old said. "A lot of them are professional people who work out of their home. We want to invite them and get them participating."
Tingen is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he also earned a master's degree in business administration. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina.
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