Chamber narrows field to 4 in director search

The selection committee seeking a new president and CEO for the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce has narrowed its field of about a dozen applicants down to four candidates, and all but one of the finalists are already Laurens County residents.

“The committee is doing interviews this week and it expects to make a decision next week,” said Marlene Owings, the chamber’s vice president for accounting and operations.

The four finalists include Jonathan Irick of Laurens, Amanda Elaine Munyan of Laurens, Byron Keith Rucker of Greenville and Ann Marie Tribble of Laurens.

Irick currently serves as the executive director of Main Street Laurens, a position he has held since 2006. His work involves grant management, small business development and market research as well as developing volunteers and managing an annual budget. Prior to joining Main Street Laurens, he served as the manager of Earl Thomason Jewelers in Laurens from 1991 to 2006. Irick also has certification from the South Carolina Economic Development School and is a Main Street America Revitalization Professional.

Munyan has served as a small business owner and the communications and marketing director for the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. She is currently the executive director of United Way of Laurens County, where she manages grants, the budget and operations and increases community financial and volunteer investment through the 24 partner agencies. Prior to her current role, Munyan served the small business members of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce and helped coordinate its fund-raising events. From 2007 to 2011, she was a small business owner of Pixie Dust, a children’s boutique in Laurens, where she was the Master Merchant of the Year for Main Street Laurens.

A 1984 Presbyterian College graduate, Rucker started his career as the head women’s basketball coach and sports information director at Presbyterian College from 1984 to 1989, and he has since held numerous positions related to sports event planning and management, including work with the development of the Greenville Grrrowl. He is the owner and founder of IMO Strategy, which provides consulting work for event and festival production and management. Most recently he worked from 2015 to 2017 for the City of Fountain Inn as the director of economic development.

Since November 2015, Tribble has served as an account manager for XtreNet Inc., a telecommunications strategy company. She has served in many capacities with such companies as Revolution Labels, PRTC/Backroads Internet and Adams Outdoor Advertising. She was appointed to serve a 10-month term as Laurens County Treasurer in 1996. Tribble also served as director of the Clinton Uptown Development Association in 1995 and worked in the grant programs for the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Greg Alexander had served as the president and CEO of the chamber since 2009 before announcing in late February of this year that he had accepted a position with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.

Marilyn Easter, current chair of the chamber’s board of directors, has headed up a selection committee along with executive committee members, which include past chairs and the chair elect.

“The committee should have an answer by next week,” Owings said, “and we feel like the position will be filled by June 1.”

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