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Chamber Announces New Board Officers

RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 4, 2020

New Chamber Board Leadership Appointed for 2021

MARION, NORTH CAROLINA—The McDowell Chamber of Commerce welcomes new board officers, Dawna Ledbetter and Stacy Buff as incoming board chair and vice chair respectively. Ledbetter and Buff officially took office January, 1, 2021.

2021 McDowell County Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Dawna LedbetterVeteran board member and community activist Dawna Ledbetter will lead the organization as board chair for a three-year term. A native of Marion, she graduated from McDowell Technical Community College as well as the Johnson Institute of Senior Center Management. "I have served on the Chamber Board for many years in several different positions," said Ledbetter. "I look forward to becoming the next chair and seeing the great work we as a chamber will do not only in the business community but McDowell County as a whole."

Dawna currently works as the community outreach coordinator for the McDowell Senior Center advocating for our seniors and also serves on the board of directors for the Dogwood Health Trust and the West Marion Community Forum.

"Dawna is a powerful servant in Mcdowell County," said Chamber Executive Director Kim Effler. "She has been instrumental in Marion's growth and development with her involvement in the West Marion Community Forum. We look forward to the direction Dawna will lead the Chamber in 2021." 

Vice Chair Buff is a resident of the Glenwood Community and attends Glenwood Baptist Church 2021 McDowell Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair Stacy Buffwhere he serves as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He is Dean of Career & Technical Education which includes Vocational and Human Services Curriculum Programs as well as Workforce Continuing Education Programs. Buff, who will also serve a three-year term, is likewise a strong community activist and has been instrumental in building the relationship between the Chamber and MTCC. 

"It is my goal to work with the board, director, and our businesses to continue to navigate this pandemic and create avenues for success for all our businesses that have been drastically affected," Buff said. "I look forward to a day in our near future when the pandemic is behind us and we can get back to being fully focused on building McDowell County." 

"Stacy has a vested interest in enhancing McDowell County by strengthening partnerships among education, industry, and business leaders," said Effler. "He is a proud family man and his passion for the community is inspiring." Buff is looking forward to building better relationships with the Old Fort community as well as helping the Municipal Event Center reach its full potential. "In addition, 2021 will be our year to highlight our McDowell Event Center that we share with the City of Marion and additionally supported by Mcdowell County."

Moving into the Ex-Officio position is former Board Chair Carol Wolfenbarger, president of Mission Hospital McDowell (HCA). Carol led the Chamber during what was possibly its most disruptive year of Covid-19. Her steadfast leadership skills were instrumental in the transition of our executive director, new staff, a bold strategic plan, and a pandemic. 
2020 McDowell Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Carol Wolfenbarger
"Carol has relentlessly inspired many with strength, courage, and confidence.  Not only has she fearlessly led McDowell Hospital through a global pandemic, but she has also faithfully served the Chamber as board chair during a time of transition," said Effler. I couldn't think of a more suited leader for our organization during 2020 than Carol." 

Wolfenbarger's belief in and support of the work of the Chamber proved very impactful. "2020 has proven to be a year of much change. As I began my service as Chair, I recall my response to the question "what will I change?" during the 2020 Chamber banquet. My response was what I would not change- the collaborative work across McDowell," she said. "Needless to say, this strength that exists in McDowell continues as a pillar for our community as a result of myriad leaders- including the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, who under the leadership of the transitioning Steve Bush and the visionary talent of the new Executive Director, Kim Effler, rallied to support our businesses as our community prepared for and responded to this pandemic. With that as the backdrop as we begin 2021, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has set in motion strategic initiatives to continue to propel our community to economic health as we work together."
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