Home » Glasgow-Barren Co. Chamber of Commerce and the Barren Co. Economic Authority to merge

Glasgow-Barren Co. Chamber of Commerce and the Barren Co. Economic Authority to merge

GLASGOW, Ky. — The Barren County Economic Authority (BCEA) and Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce (GBCCC) boards of directors unanimously voted to create a consolidated, streamlined organization to better serve their members and the Barren County area.

Barren County Courthouse in Glasgow, Kentucky

The announcement comes after months of intensive conversations about how the nonprofits could strengthen and expand services to better meet the economic and community development needs of businesses and residents.

A consolidation review committee was formed with members of both organizations and tasked with finding the most viable path forward for a partnership or consolidation among the entities. The committee was responsible for the analysis, evaluation of the potential pros and cons of consolidation and providing the boards with a recommendation and implementation plan. In addition to the review committee, five working groups were also established to evaluate specific operational details.

Maureen Carpenter, executive director of the BCEA, said, “We will create two-way relationships with our members, offer diverse opportunities for our team, promote open communication with all of our stakeholders, and focus on strengthening our economy and growing our community as one.”

Carpenter, who started with the BCEA in January 2020 has been selected as the president and CEO, taking on the leadership role for both the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development.

The Chamber and Economic Authority will remain intact, funding sources will remain independent, and no jobs will be cut in the consolidation, rather it offers an opportunity to add a full-time membership and programs coordinator. The consolidation creates an organized system to achieve goals through one vision and mission, creates an inclusive environment and a single point of contact for all business services.

There were several key advantages identified by the consolidation review committee, including one vision for the community; joint efforts to reach organizational goals for the business community; shared resources, all staff will be housed under one roof, share technology, contacts, and expertise; one team with a common leadership and cross-trained staff and the power to influence change through catalytic leadership.

The desired outcomes for the consolidation are business growth, more new businesses opening and expanding throughout the county; population growth, attract new residents to the community while enticing those that have left to come back, and revenue growth is driven by goal achievement.

Ernie Myers, who has served as the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce executive vice president since 2012, will be retiring when the consolidation is completed in January. “With a vested interest and passion for this organization and community, having a solid succession plan is integral to our continued success,” said Myers. “We have highly talented staff and board of directors dedicated to the success of this organization and will greatly assist with this process.”

All involved are appreciative of Ernie’s commitment and insights and being a part of this process.

The group will work over the next several months to finalize the necessary legal work and prepare for the consolidation that is planned to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The chamber and economic development team will temporarily be housed at 126 E Public Square until a plan for a more permanent home can be developed.

A review of the consolidation questions and answers can be seen by visiting the website: www.barrencoea.com/About or www.glasgowbarrenchamber.com

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