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Chamber names new president
4 New Chamber Pres mug

The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce soon will welcome a new president.

Chairwoman Jennifer Baker announced Tuesday that Christie Haynes will take over as the chamber's chief officer on Aug. 20.

"We were fortunate to have extremely talented people from all around the Southeast interested in this position, but Christie's combination of experience and personality made her our top choice," Baker said.

"With our small staff, we felt it was critical to hire someone with chamber experience. Christie has the background and, most importantly, the passion that we need to help take our chamber to the next level."

Haynes, 24, currently serves as president and CEO of the Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce in southwest Georgia.

She is looking forward to relocating to Dawson County, a place she recalled visiting as a child.

"Every year, it was a Haynes' family tradition to go to Burt's Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville," she said. "I'm really excited to be coming to Dawson County."

Coming into a new area, Haynes said her first order of business will be to acquaint herself with the community and its people, who so far have welcomed her with open arms.

"It's so assuring that every single person I've met has been so open and welcoming," she said.

Haynes said her goal is not to change the chamber, but instead to bring a new face and fresh perspective to the organization.

"We have lots of ideas on how to get more involved in the community that can help us grow business and rebrand the chamber in terms of tourism," she said.

A 2010 University of Georgia graduate, Haynes has bachelor degrees in political science, history and international affairs.

Baker said Haynes is an ideal fit for the chamber and community.

"Christie genuinely believes in giving back and being an active part of her community, and we couldn't be happier to have her as part of our team," she said.

Haynes previously worked as a field representative for the Georgia 2nd Congressional District and on several successful political campaigns.

She is filling a new, combined position formerly held by president Linda Williams and husband Marty Williams, who served as the chamber's vice president of travel and tourism.

The couple retired together in early July.