Goals set for chamber

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 28, 2013

With the New Year comes a new president of the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce, and stepping into that role is Andalusia businessman Chris Mohon.

Mohon will assume the role on Dec. 31 to follow local banker Jessie Self as the head of the organization dedicated to promoting and growing the city’s business community.



And in Andalusia, the name “Mohon” is synonymous with business – the convenience store business, that is, as Mohon and his father, Roy, are the owners of 10 Gitty-Up-N-Go stores in Andalusia, Florala and McKenzie.

Mohon said Friday he plans to apply the skills he’s learned as a business owner to being a good chamber president.

“I’m young, and I’m a little nervous,” Mohon said about serving at the head of the organization that’s experienced great change in the last month. At the first of December, the board voted to fire its executive vice president after she became embroiled in an ongoing criminal investigation.

“Circumstances that led to this point are less than ideal, but I believe that it’s an opportunity for great growth for the chamber,” Mohon said. “In fact, one of my most two important goals as president is to find the right EVP so that the board doesn’t have to go through this process for many, many years.”

Mohon said one of the key components of his business is giving back to the community. Gitty-Up-N-Go profits help to fund many local agencies and organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Andalusia Academy of Ballet, while lending a hand at school fundraising.

“One of the things that we do is let area schools pump for tips,” Mohon said. “It’s just a small way to show that we care about our community.”

It’s that philosophy Mohon hopes shines through during his term as chamber president.

“The chamber of commerce should be the heart of the business community,” he said. “It should be the first place that new business looks to when coming to Andalusia, and it should be the place that does all it can to promote and help grow existing businesses – and that’s my goal – to step it up, if you will.

“I want to see the chamber get more involved in the economics of the community,” he said. “I want to see us develop new chamber benefits for members, ways we can help those members promote their business. Truly, I want to develop a way where there is more value to being a chamber member.

“And, anyone that has any opinions on how we do that, I’d love for them to reach out to me,” he said.

But to accomplish that, and the second goal of his yearlong term, Mohon said he knows that finding a new EVP is crucial to the chamber’s success.

“First and foremost, we need someone who can build the relationship with city government so that we can all work as a whole to bring in new business,” he said. “And at the same time, we need someone who can successfully maintain a working and profitable relationship with the city’s current businesses,” he said.

Mohon described the ideal candidate as a “go-getter, self-motivated, self-starter.”

“My biggest goal is to get someone in that spot that is qualified and who will last a good long while with chamber, so that the board doesn’t have to go through this process again anytime soon,” he said.

Mohon said he welcomes comments about better ways to serve the community, and suggestions should be emailed to andalusiachamber@gmail.com.