The decision to hire Cabot Hamilton was made by the chamber’s board of directors at the organization’s monthly meeting Tuesday evening. Hamilton will assume his new role on July 29.
Members of the Chamber’s Personnel and Executive committees were tasked with the search for a new Executive Director following the June departure of Beth Dixon. The search committee received several applications and conducted formal interviews with seven candidates for the position earlier this month, which included local residents as well as other individuals who had some affiliation with the area.
“Our search committee came to the unanimous decision that the best person for the job of Executive Director is Cabot Hamilton,” said Chamber President Gwynita Steele. “Besides his knowledge of the Chamber work, he brings the ability to be a quick study, a person who weighs the outcome of actions, and a person who can balance many different activities dealing with short timelines.”
Hamilton recently retired as publisher of The Jefferson Post, where he served for the past eight years. He actually left retirement to take the job at the newspaper after having worked in the soft drink industry for 30 years.
He is a member of the Ashe County Land Use Committee recently formed by the Ashe County Board of Commissioners, and has served on the Ashe Chamber’s Board of Directors for the past eight years. In June, Hamilton had stepped down from his position on the board since it coincided with his retirement from the newspaper.
In his new role, Hamilton will work under the direction of a 24-member board of directors and lead a staff of three. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in education. He and his wife Teri moved permanently to Ashe County in 1982, and he has long ties to the county through the Hamilton and Transou families, who helped to establish St. Mary’s Church and Transou Methodist Church, respectively.
“I am honored that the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce has chosen to give me an opportunity to be their next director,” Hamilton said. “As a member of the Board, I had the pleasure of working with three strong chamber directors, Kitty Lawrence, Sarah Tugman and Beth Dixon. My hope is that I will be able to serve our membership in the same proactive manner, while assisting the chamber as it grows and meets its goals over the next several years,” he said.
The Ashe County Chamber of Commerce serves 480 member businesses and organizations throughout the county and historically has been a valuable community resource in the areas of business and economic development, tourism, education and cultural advocacy. The Chamber’s mission is to promote the economic vitality of its membership and function as the county’s visitor information center. Its office is located at 303 East Second Street in West Jefferson.