ALBANY Chris Hardy, the president of the Clemson (S.C.) Chamber of Commerce, will take over April 30 as the head of the Albany Chamber, officials announced Friday.
Miles Espy, chairman of the board of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce said that Hardy stood out from the other candidates because of his attitude and knowledge.
"I am very excited about Chris Hardy joining our Chamber, as the president and CEO," Espy said. "Chris is full of energy and enthusiasm and I believe that his chamber and CVB background coupled with his skill sets will make him a strong and effective leader for our chamber and the business community."
Hardy will replace former president Catherine Glover who resigned in January to take a job at Equinox Chemicals.
"I was certainly given an unbelievable opportunity to continue my chamber career. It's an exciting time. I'm looking forward to me and my wife relocating to Southwest Georgia. Albany has so many positive things, I think the first thing we as a chamber need to do is make sure that we're doing everything we can to celebrate what Albany has to offer."
Hardy said curtailing Albany's negative reputation is something that will not only enhance the city's image, but will also make it more appealing for outsiders who may be looking for a place to relocate.
"If you're an outsider looking in, and you're doing a google search, you see negative things right at the top of the list," Hardy said. "We know it's happening but we want them to show up further back in the search results."
Hardy is originally from Winston Salem, N.C., and is a graduate of Francis Marion University.
Espy said that Hardy's experience as the director of a Convention and Visitors Bureau also helped him stand out from other candidates, experience Hardy says he's eager to put to work here.
"I understand that the CVB has gone through some transition, but I'm looking forward to working with the staff to continue doing those things that are beneficial and to look at the things that maybe aren't going so smoothly, if there are any," Hardy said. "Things may be running like an assembly line over there, but I just won't know until we take a look at the organization."