For the better part of the last 16 years, the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism has been led by Executive Director, Teresa Hammond. As of April 1, 2024, the longtime leader of the Chamber will retire and enjoy traveling and spending more time with her family & friends. “I reflect on how the Chamber has changed over the years and appreciate each of the 16 wonderful boards for which I have served…We have a strong membership base of over 250 members that have supported the programs and initiatives of the Chamber and our local governments have also been proponents of our efforts and invest in the Chamber financially” said, Hammond.
Under Teresa’s leadership, the Chamber has been able to secure over 4.4 million in grant funding, repurposed a former bank building to not only serve as the Chamber of Commerce but a certified visitor center for the region as well; The Chamber has grown from hosting one outdoor event to three signature annual events that draw hundreds of visitors to the region each year and has also implemented Phases I & II of the Signage & Wayfinding system which helps to welcome visitors to the area and further the brand of the Alleghany Highlands Region. Additionally, the Chamber has distributed thousands of dollars of furniture and supplies following the 2016 flood, provided much needed supplies for businesses as they began to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic, and secured $1.3 million in funding for the Small Business and Non-Profit Recovery Grant Program. “Teresa has been an outstanding leader of the Chamber during her 16 years. We have been fortunate and blessed to have her lead the organization and be a voice for our localities. Teresa has ensured that our hometowns are visible to Richmond and beyond. We wish her all the best in her retirement and appreciate her dedication and service to our communities” said Chamber Board of Directors President, Kathleen All.
Teresa and her staff have worked diligently to help strengthen the local business community and grow tourism throughout the region. “I am so grateful for the wonderful staff (both past and present) as well as the many volunteers that have worked for the Chamber. I also want to acknowledge the Alleghany Foundation for the funding they have provided to the Chamber for our efforts to grow tourism and enhance the quality of life in the Alleghany Highlands” Hammond continued.
Although the Chamber will certainly miss Teresa, there is an overwhelming sense of appreciation among everyone involved with the organization. Her leadership, along with the growth & achievements the organization has experienced over the past 16 years, has been nothing short of extraordinary. “It has been a pleasure to serve the local community as your Chamber Executive Director. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and feel blessed to be able to call the Alleghany Highlands, home” said Hammond.
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