Chamber executive director finishes management program

Published 9:49 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017

By Mary Stewart | The Selma Times-Journal

Sheryl Smedley, executive director of the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, has graduated a four-year program from the Institution for Organization Management.

Smedley completed 96 hours of course instruction that has to do with non-profit management in order to graduate the program.

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“Chambers from all over the U.S. attend this program, as well as associations,” Smedley said. “Mostly, it’s geared toward chambers of commerce, and it’s put on by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.”

Smedley attended a weeklong workshop each year in order to meet the required hours for graduation. The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Alabama Association Jeremy Arthur invited her to attend during her first year.

They offered scholarships, and so being a small town chamber of commerce, it wasn’t budgeted in my budget,” she said. “So I applied for a scholarship, and I was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Constant Contact my very first year that I went, so that enabled me to go.

She was awarded the scholarship over several hundred other applicants.

Smedley came back from her first workshop to share the knowledge she gained with the board of directors she reports to. The board was impressed, and they were able to work the program back into her budget.

The Institution for Organization Management commenced in 1921 and has educated tens of thousands of chamber leaders on how to better serve their communities and advocate for businesses.

“The chamber of commerce is just like any other business. The day-to-day operations of the chamber is just like operating a retail business down town or anywhere,” Smedley said. “You’ve got to be responsible for the financing of day-to -day operations and your staff.”

Smedley plans to put all of the knowledge she gained to use in making the chamber here as successful as she can.

“I’m very excited to have completed the program,” she said. “I’ve received tools to be able to keep that chamber a valuable organization here in the community.”