04/24/13 — Daniels named new president of chamber

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Daniels named new president of chamber

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on April 24, 2013 1:46 PM

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Kate Daniels

Having watched two leaders come and go since 2011, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce officials believe they have found the right person in Kate Daniels to bring stability to the president position.

"We had a number of candidates that we went through," said Tom Bradshaw, vice president of operations at Wayne Memorial Hospital and chairman of the Chamber board of directors. "Our primary focus was trying to find somebody local, who knows the community and who knows the people. Kate is deeply committed to the community, and I think anybody who knows her, knows she's very competent in taking on challenges and getting things done. And that's the type of person we want to lead the Chamber.

"We also were looking for some stability in the position, and we believe she offers that. We're delighted to get her"

Mrs. Daniels, who has been manager of marketing and public relations at N.C. Community Federal Credit Union for the past five years, will officially step into the role of Chamber president on May 13.

"It's hard to leave the credit union," she said. "They've been my family and have given me a wonderful opportunity to become involved in the community, and for that I am incredibly grateful."

The Chamber position, though, she said, is a "dream job."

"I love this community," she said. "I feel like we have a Chamber that truly is a thriving force in the community, and I feel l can help facilitate future growth."

In addition to her position at the credit union, Mrs. Daniels, 30, also serves as the vice chairman of the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross board of directors, and is active in the Goldsboro Junior Woman's Club, and with the Chamber in a number of volunteer capacities, including with its young professionals arm.

However, she said, despite her involvement in the Chamber from a business member and volunteer perspective for the last five years, she doesn't plan on coming in and making any immediate waves.

"I think the first order of business is to get a pulse on the current membership, what we can do to strengthen our current relationships, and what we can do to further develop new ones," she said.

Above all, she explained she wants to make sure the Chamber continues to bring value not only to its members, but to the community as a whole with its focuses on military affairs and education.

"When I was growing up in Kinston, if you wanted to have a successful business, you were a member of the chamber," she said. "And I think that's still true. The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce is a toolbox that provides for businesses and the community. It fosters growth in Wayne County."

Bradshaw echoed those comments, saying the Chamber plans to continue to work on the goals outlined in the strategic plan it created 2011.

He also noted that despite the recent turnover, the organization has seen a continued growth in membership, and credited Interim President Beverly Carroll and Interim Executive Director Ed Wilson for their leadership the last three months.