Brandin takes helm of Opp Chamber

Published 3:31 am Friday, October 20, 2017

The Opp Chamber of Commerce has a new face, as the board of directors recently hired Kelly M. Brandin as executive administrator.

Brandin replaces Emilee Gage, who plans to pursue other interests.

Brandin is a native of River Ridge, La., which is near New Orleans.

She moved to Alabama in 1990 and moved to Opp in 2004.

Brandin is a retired educator with 32 years in education the majority of those as a first grade teacher and then as a reading specialist.

Brandin said she is eager and excited to serve the Opp Chamber of Commerce and the city of Opp, especially in the newly renovated L&N Depot.

“(I’m) enthusiastic about finally residing and working in the same community, anxious to get to know local business owners and synergize with these business owners to grow Opp into a city that truly offers ‘Opp’ortunities galore to businesses, community members, residents of surrounding communities and tourists,” she said.

Brandin is married to Scotty Ward, a 1974 graduate of Opp High School, who is a full-time musician.

She has also been involved musically, having performed in various bands over the years as a front person and background singer.

“(I) had the privilege or singing background vocals for T. Graham Brown when he performed at the Steel Guitar Show in Opp,” she said.

Brandin said the chamber board has already extended kindness to her.

“They have been very supportive and have offered to assist me as I attempt to develop and master the skill sets necessary to excel in this position,” she said.

Gage, who has worked with the Chamber in several capacities since 2009, will continue with the Chamber through a transition period.

Gage had expressed a desire to further her career and told board members she would likely relocate at some point. She said she came to the realization she was being consumed by work while driving home from Colorado after her father’s untimely and unexpected death.

“I would like to thank all the Opp Chamber of Commerce members for their support for not only the chamber, but for me as well,” she said.