January 30, 2013 Edition

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Cooper to lead Chamber in 2013

Dr. Brett Cooper (left), chair of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board, gives a handout to Chamber Board Member Debbie Smith during an executive committee meeting on Tuesday.

Gretchen Hunt

Dr. Brett Cooper, who serves as vice president for institutional advancement at Williams Baptist College, is taking on a second term as chair of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board.

Cooper said he is excited to serve again.

"This is a good time, not to mention a really fun time, to be involved in any capacity with the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce," he said. "People are excited. We have momentum, and the challenge now is to keep it going."

He said he is convinced that Lawrence County is on the verge of great things.

"The success we've seen in building tourist attractions, the economic development being produced by peanut farming and the general sense of community optimism and cooperation are all signs that our county is on the move," he said. "Even people outside of Lawrence County are taking note."

L.J. Bryant, economic development director for the Chamber, said Cooper brings a lot to the table.

"Dr. Cooper has the perfect balance of assertiveness and politeness," Bryant said. "He's goal oriented and can get the job done. He understands business, education and public relations. Most importantly, he has a heart for the county."

Cooper said he recently met with Bryant and Chamber Executive Secretary Kathy Bradley to set priorities for the year.

"I was reminded once again that we are truly blessed to have two people as sharp as they are working for the chamber, and I was very excited about the priorities we established," he said.

Cooper said details will develop as the board meets, but overall goals will remain the same.

"We want to engage our industries and our chamber membership as active partners in moving our community forward," he said. "We want to reach out to all of our government entities and facilitate the cooperation that is necessary for progress. And we want to pursue every available avenue to promote economic development in Lawrence County."

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