Duffy: We need to add value

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Andalusia Chamber of Commerce director Chrissie Duffy said her tenure will focus on bringing value to being a chamber member.

Monday marked the first week on the job for the former owner of Chrissie Shubert’s Treats. It also marked one month since the entrepreneur sold her company’s assets and settled in behind the giant desk on River Falls Street.



“When I sold everything, I was ready to go home and straighten up there,” she said. “After 10 years of running a business, I felt like it was time to go home. I felt like I was burning both ends of the stick. It’s hard to run a business and raise four children.

“When I heard about the (Chamber) opening, I thought, ‘Wow. That really encompasses everything I love – marketing, event planning, meeting new people. I can’t let this opportunity pass me by. What’s the harm in applying?’
“And that was it,” she said.

Duffy’s hiring was announced at the Jan. 28 chamber banquet. Since then, along with the chamber board, she’s been working to creatively increase the value of being a chamber member.

“A lot of people ask, ‘What does that mean?’” she said. “I tell them I want to go beyond holding a ribbon cutting. I want to open a line of communication between the chamber, the city and all of its businesses. I want to go and speak to as many businesses as I can and absorb what they want the chamber to do for them.

“I want to learn about the businesses that have been here for 20 years and spotlight what they’ve done to adapt and change in today’s economy,” she said. “I want to know what we as a chamber can do to help improve business.”

Examples of upcoming chamber events include the annual dealer’s sale and Covington County Day in Montgomery where locals can meet and greet legislators.

Duffy said she also hopes to soon offer learning opportunities for businesses.

“I think about what kind of information would’ve been helpful to me as a business owner, and that’s what I want to feature,” she said. “I’m working to bring in small business consultants for our members and am planning several working seminars.

“I hope to soon have seminars on social media marketing, the Affordable Health Care Act and Quickbooks – those sorts of things,” she said. “And I’m always open to new ideas, advice and news about our business community.”

Duffy said residents can contact her via email at chrissie@andalusiachamber.com or via the chamber’s Facebook page.