Christi Robinson named Gadsden and Etowah Chamber President, CEO-Elect

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Photo courtesy of The Chamber

The Chamber of Gadsden & Etowah County, Inc., recently announced the selection of Christi Robinson as its President and CEO-Elect.

Robinson brings to The Chamber a wide array of experience in finance, fundraising and business management.

“I am honored to have been selected for this incredible opportunity,” said Robinson. “Over the past several years, I have served as chair of Leadership Etowah’s public safety program, and through that experience I’ve gained enormous respect for the mission of The Chamber.”

A graduate of the Birmingham School of Law, Robinson also holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from Jacksonville State University and an associate degree in business administration from Snead State Community College. She and her husband Chris own and operate Blackstone Pub & Eatery in downtown Gadsden and Blackstone Pizza Kitchen near Noccalula Falls. The Robinsons are currently working with other partners to open Current Market & Deli, located within River Rocks Landing & Resort on the Coosa River in Gadsden.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working for Alabama Teachers Credit Union over the past 12 years in various roles, but most recently as a fraud specialist,” Robinson said. “Through that role and others, I have connected with many business owners and have grown in my understanding of the needs of local business and industry.”

Robinson added that her own entrepreneurial experiences will be helpful in the new role.

“I hope to be an advocate and a resource, especially for small businesses in our county, and to be able to serve their needs with empathy and a personal understanding of their desires to be a thriving part of our community,” she noted.

While Robinson admitted she had not previously considered leaving the credit union, the opportunity to guide The Chamber into the next level of service to the area was one that compelled her to apply.

“The work that The Chamber does in our area is critical to the success of our economy and our quality of life,” she said. “To have the opportunity to be a part of others success in this position is a dream come true.”

According to Chamber Board of Directors chairperson Morgan Lavender, a seven-member panel interviewed five candidates using a rigorous metric that included roundtable questions and a professional presentation required of each candidate. Candidates were scored by their level of expertise respective to each question and on their overall presentation by each hiring committee member. Scores were compiled to determine the highest scoring candidate.

Lavender said that the hiring committee recommended Robinson to be hired at The Chamber’s regular board meeting on December 16 and that the motion passed unanimously.

“We are excited to see where Christi’s leadership will take us in the future,” Lavender said. “We are appreciative to have a smooth transition period that should set us on the path to even greater success as an organization.”

Robinson will begin her tenure at The Chamber in early January and serve in the elect role until the resignation of Heather Brothers New in early June. New previously announced her pending resignation set to occur when she qualifies as a candidate for mayor of Gadsden.

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