Jackson chamber

Monday, October 20, 2008

Officers and search committee members at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce are excited about the selection of a new executive director. Last week the chamber announced that Brian Gerau had been picked for the post.

It was a tough decision that took six months following the untimely death of the former executive director, Marybeth Williams. Gerau was a friend of Williams and hopes to keep her memory alive in his efforts to serve the Jackson business community.

Gerau, a Columbia, Mo., native, had experience in banking administration, a not-for-profit organization and real estate lending before moving to Cape Girardeau four years ago as director of Sylvan Learning Center. Currently he is a sales manager for Altria Group.

To learn the ropes of his new job, Gerau plans to meet with business leaders -- there currently are 400 members of the Jackson chamber -- and look for ways to increase membership and make the chamber a strong advocate for businesses that are involved in the community. He already has a taste of what's involved, having been a member of the chamber's education committee and a frequent volunteer for various chamber events.

Good luck to Gerau and the Jackson chamber. Businesses need all the help they can get right now, and the spark of new leadership could give the business community a much-needed boost.

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