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Chamber of Commerce officially welcomes Clay

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Charise Clay, a former native of Atlanta, never thought she would end up working in Selma, but she is grateful she did.

The 24-year-old communications graduate is now the destination and marketing coordinator for the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce.

While pursuing her master’s degree in human resources management from Troy University, she accepted the position back in November and said she is excited to embark on this journey.

Clay is currently working on how to bridge the age gap between people in the community through the use of social media. Clay said the community has welcomed her with open arms and she feels welcomed.

“Everyone has been very open, very excited,” she said. “I didn’t have any expectations coming here, but I’m very pleasantly surprised about how welcoming and how open everyone is meeting me.”

Not only is she learning about her new position, but she is also learning more about the culture and rich history in Selma. She said no day on the job is the same, and she has been “enjoying every minute of it.”

Sheryl Smedley, executive director of Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, said they are excited to have Clay on staff.

“She brings lots of new and innovative ideas to the table,” she said. Smedley said Clay has been working on the bicentennial celebration that will recognize and celebrate Alabama’s 200 years as a state.

She also said Clay has hands on experience with guests and community members as a daily part of her duties.

“She works very closely with our step on tour guides that we have,” she said. “We had tour buses here almost everyday because of the opening of the Civil Rights Trail, where Selma is a feature.”

Smedley said adding Clay to the team has been a good addition to the Chamber, and they are both excited to see what they can create in the Selma community together.