Haywood County Chamber of Commerce Committees

The Business & Economic Development Committee plays a vital role in creating a positive business environment for existing Haywood County business' and potential business' looking to relocate . This committee played an instrumental role in establishing Haywood County as the first Certified Entrepreneur Community in America.

Chris Williams
United Community Bank

Business and Economic Development Committee
Chairman: Charles Umberger

MISSION: The Business and Economic Development Committee will provide awards, recognition, education, and communication opportunities and resources to assist Chamber members in operating successful businesses in Haywood County. The overall goal of the committee is to enhance business opportunities for small businesses dealing with growth and competing businesses in Haywood County.

The committee sponsors the annual Business Start-Up Competition and recognizes the recipient at the Annual Business Start Up Luncheon held in May. Click Here to view the 2011 Business Start-Up Competition Application and Guidelines. Members investigate providing additional assistance and support to Business Start-Up Competition entries and explore additional funding opportunities for the Business Start-Up Competition including grant opportunities.

The committee also selects and recognizes Business of the Month recipients, Business of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. Recipients are recognized during monthly Issues & Eggs breakfast meetings and the Chamber’s Annual Dinner. Members of the committee also work diligently to provide quality speakers and programming for monthly Issues and Eggs breakfast meetings focusing on issues or topics concerning HCC Chamber members.

Other efforts of the Business and Economic Development Committee are the continued partnership and programming with Haywood Community College, HCC Small Business Center, Haywood Economic Development Commission, Haywood Advancement Foundation, Advantage West, BREC, Smoky Mountain Development Corporation, Smoky Mountain Small Business and Industry Center, SCORE, Mountain Bizworks, SBTDC, and REAL ; continued CEC growth through website development and training’ and to Incorporate the Green Business Initiative as a function of the Business Economic Development Committee.

Governmental Relations Committee
Chairman: John Tench

MISSION: The Governmental Relations Committee will establish and enhance relationships with governmental officials, provide information and obtain input from our members on governmental issues relevant to them; recommend advocacy positions and communicate the Chamber’s viewpoint to our membership and elected officials.

The Governmental Relations Committee continues to build relations and improve communication between Chamber leadership and public officials and uses the chamber website as an information source for Governmental Relations information. The committee conducts an annual survey to the membership requesting input in relation to governmental policies and how it impacts their business to develop an legislative agenda for Haywood County that communicates strong and consistent positions for businesses. The committee also hosts roundtable session(s) with Elected Officials to discuss issues of importance to area businesses, the Annual Elected Officials Reception, Annual Candidates Forum or Meet and Greets inviting candidates seeking elected office to participate, and Annual Chamber delegation visit to NC Representatives in Raleigh, NC.

Women in Business
Chairman: Nyda Bittmann-Neville

The Chamber’s Women in Business Committee aims to prepare women (and men) to be professional leaders in our community and to provide mentoring and support at all levels of business. The Committee coordinates and schedules Quarterly Luncheons on topics ranging from Personal Image and Branding to becoming a Financially Savvy Woman. Partners in Leadership - YPW Application

Young Professionals of Haywood
Chairman: Jake Robinson

MISSION: Engaging Young Professionals through the core values of Professional Development, Networking and Community Service to make Haywood County a better place to live, work and play.

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Association (YPH) was established in 2011 in an effort to connect area young professionals between the ages of 22 and 40 through the core values of professional development, networking and community service. A foundation committee was formed to guide the YPH through the introductory budget and strategic direction for the association.

Event Committees

Chamber Golf Tournament Committee
The Chamber Golf Tournament hosts an annual golf tournament in support of the initiatives of the Chamber. Golfers enjoy an afternoon of golf, lunch, a goody bag and an opportunity to network with members of the local business community. The Golf Committee is responsible for pre-event and day of coordination, sponsorship generation and post event follow up.


Mélange of the Mountains
Mélange of the Mountains Culinary Gala attracts more than 300 attendees and a dozen member restaurants to indulge in an evening of culinary delights and networking opportunities. This Committee is responsible for pre-event and day of coordination, sponsorship generation, restaurant recruitment and post event follow up.

Blue Ridge Breakaway
The Blue Ridge Breakaway is an annual cycling event in support of the initiatives of the Chamber. Featuring four routes specifically designed for riders of all skill levels, with all routes beginning at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. The Cycling Committee is responsible for pre-event and day of coordination, sponsorship generation, route details/safety, volunteer recruitment, marketing and more.

Please contact the Chamber if you are interested in serving on a committee.

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