SMITHVILLE – The Upper Cumberland Chamber Executives Association (UCCEA) has elected a new chairperson to lead the regional executive group.
Suzanne Williams, executive director of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce in DeKalb County, was appointed. UCCEA was formally organized in 2013.
“We are looking forward to the new year and working together for the purpose of improving not only our individual communities, but the Upper Cumberland as a whole,” she said.
The UCCEA is composed of chamber leaders in the 14-county Upper Cumberland area. The organization’s mission is to support the UC’s economic development as well as provide the opportunity to speak as a regional entity with the potential to benefit each county. It also serves as a forum for chamber directors to discuss best practices, challenges, and ideas.
Tennessee Tech, UCCEA, and other economic and community development agencies partner together annually in January to sponsor the “Redi for Action” conference hosted by Tennessee Tech. This year’s conference included three state commissioners from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the Department of Environment and Conservation as well as several state agency directors.
Williams has worked at the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber since 2000 and has served as executive director since 2003. She received her B.S. degree from Middle Tennessee State University and continues her love of learning through attending leadership conferences, seminars, and training. As director, she wears multiple hats while managing and directing local programs, operations, and numerous activities of the chamber. She is also involved in community and economic development, grant writing, and a monthly chamber television and radio program called “Chamber Chat.”
Williams and daughter Shan Burklow of Saint Thomas Health are the co-hosts of the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival nationally televised broadcast, aired locally by Cookeville’s WCTE-TV, and broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service across the nation.