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

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Avery Cornett

Served Since: 2022

Town of Marion

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Tammy Carter

Secretary

Served Since: 2018

Town of Saltville

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Mike Sturgill

President

Served Since: 2021

BOS Rep, Smyth County Schools

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Marcus Lomans

Treasurer

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

President Elect

Served Since: 2023

Ballad Health Smyth County Community Hospital

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Kimberly G. Williams, Ed. D.

Served Since: 2023

Smyth County Public Schools

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Kelly Russell, M.Ed.

Served Since: 2023

Smyth County Public Schools

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.

Bailey King, Membership and Events Coordinator

Bailey is the Membership and Events Coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County. Bailey, a native of Smyth County, joined the Chamber of Commerce in January 2022. She began at the Chamber as an intern while she was a student at Emory and Henry College. Bailey received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Civic Innovation, combining her passions for business and community. After graduating, Bailey started full time at the Chamber as the Membership and Events Coordinator in June 2023. Bailey has a passion for her home and loves working within her community. Bailey’s zeal for Southwest Virginia can be found in her commitment to the region and through the unwavering love she has for Smyth County. In her free time, Bailey enjoys spending time outdoors, with her family, and enjoys traveling.