Teri Smiley, president of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce, was surprised at the monthly luncheon Wednesday by Shane Short and a series of previous Chamber Board members. She was under the impression that Short, as director of the Development Authority of Walton County, was there to give an economic update for the County. But his intent instead was to honor Smiley for her 25 years of service to the Chamber and to the community.
“Today’s program is really about Teri Smiley,” Short said to the surprised president of the Chamber, going on to explain that she is admired and respected in chambers around the state and noting how blessed Walton County is to have had her serve the community for so long. “So Teri we want to thank you for what you do for the county.”
Several past Chamber Board chairs, including Teri Braswell, Gary Hobbs, current Board Chair Renee Park and Brock Toole went to the podium and spoke glowingly of the help they received from Smiley during their time as Chairman of the Chamber Board.
In 2017, Walton Living Magazine featured Smiley as the community leader and at that time, Short echoed the respect Smiley enjoys in the Chamber world.
“Teri has been in the Chamber world for a long time and a 20-plus year tenure with the same chamber is almost unheard of today. She is respected in her field and has a vast network of chamber professionals to both contribute to and draw knowledge from,” he said at the time. Smiley is also well-known for her authenticity and ability to make newcomers to the chamber feel welcome and part of the community from the very beginning. Right now, there is a big drive to draw in new members to the chamber and she is working hard on getting the word out.
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