About Us

We Are the Chamber

The mission of the Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County, Incorporated, is to become an exemplary force, partner and resource in conscientious economic and community-wide planning, advancement and sustainability; workforce and civic leadership training, recruitment and development; and countywide collaborative partnership initiatives. We are your connection to building community and cultivating your future & success.

The Smyth County Chamber of Commerce is your local champion for growth & prosperity.

Smyth County Chamber Board Members

Smyth County Chamber Circle Portrait Mary Begley

Mary Begley

Past President

Served Since: 2018

Appalachian Electric Power

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Avery Cornett

Served Since: 2022

Town of Marion

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Tammy Carter


Served Since: 2018

Town of Saltville

Mike Sturgill

Mike Sturgill

President Elect

Served Since: 2021

BOS Rep, Smyth County Schools

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Marcus Lomans

Served Since: 2019

Bank of Marion

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Julie Sturgill

Served Since: 2022

Town of Chilhowie

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Shawn Utt

Served Since: 2022

Smyth County Administrator

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Dale Clark

Smyth County

Served Since: 2023

Ballad Health Smyth County Community Hospital

Smyth County Chamber Staff

Sarah Gillespie, Executive Director

Sarah became the Executive Director of the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and describes becoming the Executive Director as her “dream job.” “I am very passionate about the Chamber and building community. I believe fully in our capacity to market, promote and enhance the business climate in the region. Working closely with the Board of Directors, there is tremendous potential for the Chamber, the Board and the staff, to carry out our mission to enhance our programs and services and take a fresh look at existing and new events, to make sure we meet, or exceed, the expectations of our members,” said Gillespie. Sarah was born and raised in Smyth County and is happy to have returned to her roots after thirteen years away. Sarah lives on a farm in Rich Valley, VA with her family.

Shannon Ford, Executive Assistant

Shannon grew up a few miles across the county line in Washington County, and moved to Smyth County 12 years ago. She has 2 sons Jacob and Devin.

Before coming to the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce,  Shannon spent 15 years as a Software Tester. Shannon loves shopping for antiques, wreath making, and anything to do with local history. She is also a member of the Smyth County Historical Society. Shannon brings with her a passion for all things local and a shop small mindset and hopes to bring more business into Smyth County through promoting local tourism and supporting small businesses.