New prez’s goals: Growth, services

Published 2:03 am Saturday, February 2, 2019

New Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce President Maci Jessie hopes 2019 will be a year in which the chamber increases its membership and streamlines some of its operations.

Jessie, a local attorney, received the gavel at Thursday night’s Chamber of Commerce banquet.

“I think it’s safe to say if we did things exactly like we did in years past, 2019 would be a successful year,” Jessie said. “But doing the same things without improvement, modification or implementing new ideas did not get the Chamber where it is today. In the coming year, I hope we can formulate a plan to increase membership and offer additional benefits and services to our members.

“Streamlining the functions of the Chamber office is also important to me,” she said. “One example would be to offer auto membership renewal and online payment options to our members.”

She also would like input from Chamber members.

“ I think the Chamber staff does an excellent job at member communication, but there is always room for improvement to ensure better service to our membership,” Jessie said. “To those businesses and individuals who have previously been members but chose not to renew, we want you back and will work hard to regain your membership. “

Jessie and her family – husband, Jason, and daughter, Maddie, – moved to Andalusia in December 2014 when he joined LBW Community College as dean of students. She opened her law practice, Hamilton Jessie Law, LLC in the spring of 2015. She was in private practice in Oklahoma for 10 years before the family moved to Andalusia.

She was appointed to the Chamber board in 2016 to fill a vacancy mid-term.

“I was honored to be considered by the board to fill the vacancy and eager to become more involved in the community,” Jessie said. “The Chamber Board is very much ‘hands on.’ and therefore I am personally invested in the success of our events, programs, partnerships, and our membership. Serving on the board has been inspiring to want to come up with new and improved ways to enhance the quality of life for residents of Andalusia and Covington County.“

Jessie said the Chamber’s professional staff – Exeuctive Director Chrissie Duffy and Assistant Director Maggie Jones keep the Chamber visible, and do a great job of promoting members and the community as a whole.

“If you ever stop by the Chamber and spend more than five minutes, you would know that the telephone rings nonstop with community members as well as those from afar seeking answers to questions, referrals, recommendations, or needing assistance in some form or fashion,” Jessie said. “Chrissie and Maggie always have an answer.

“Promoting our membership and community is something they do day in day out, and they are extremely good at it. It takes individuals with a lot of heart, community pride, vision and ambition, the ability to collaborate and to promote partnerships to bring events which are as widely successful as is our annual banquet, Chamber Breakfast, July Jamz, parades, Candyland and many more,” she said. “Our Chamber has an active presence in our community and the Andalusia area is very lucky in that regard.”

In her work as an attorney, Jessie serves as a certified guardian ad litem representing the interests of children in cases pending before the Juvenile Court of Covington County. She also serves as the public defender for the Town of River Falls Municipal Court and as the city prosecutor of the Town of Red Level.

She serves on the board of the Andalusia Ballet Association, is a member of the Junior Service League of Andalusia, and is active with her family at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, where she sings in the choir.

She encourages those who are interested in being involved in the Chamber to just say so.

“It’s ok not to know how to become involved,” she said. “Just call or come by the Chamber, reach out to a board member, show up at an event. We will help you get involved.”