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Igniting Unified Vision: The Role of The Catawba County Chamber Foundation

During The Chamber of Catawba County’s 52nd Annual Meeting & Reception last week, Zack Cranford, 2023 Board Chair of The Chamber of Catawba County, announced the formation of the Catawba County Chamber Foundation. The Charter Board of Directors convened for the first time in February 2023, led by Lori Alala, Partner of Broome Insurance, a Legacy Insurance Partner, and Immediate Past Chair of The Chamber of Catawba County Board of Directors, who served as the Founding Board Chair for the newly formed entity.

“In simple terms, The Foundation is a catalyst,” said Alala. “The Foundation operates as a 501(c)(3) supporting entity of The Chamber of Catawba County, governed by its own Board of Directors, mission statement, and financial structure,” she continued. “Its independence allows for tax-deductible donations and access to diverse funding sources, including private and public grants, and individual and corporate contributions. However, despite its autonomy, the Foundation remains aligned with The Chamber’s mission and strategic priorities, serving as a powerful force for community advancement.”

Lindsay Keisler, President/CEO of The Chamber of Catawba County, emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between The Chamber and The Foundation. “Though distinct entities, they share common goals and work in tandem,” Keisler stated. “Furthermore, The Foundation will enable us to accomplish work that The Chamber of Catawba County could not accomplish independently.”

The Chamber of Catawba County Board of Directors charged The Catawba County Chamber Foundation to serve as the convening body of leaders in business, local government, education, and the non-profit sectors tasked with envisioning the community’s future. Now more than ever, the recruitment, retention, and development of a talented workforce are the most important factors influencing economic success.

For their first project, in the fall of 2023, The Catawba County Chamber Foundation engaged a consultant, Broad Ripple Strategies, to conduct a Workforce Scan that provided an objective, data-driven look at the community’s workforce and talent dynamics. This process identified several competitive challenges, namely an already tight labor market that could be further strained by an aging workforce in the coming years if the status quo holds. To prepare The Chamber and The Foundation to be effective advocates, partners, and participants in strengthening the workforce, The Foundation’s next project will identify talent priorities from the perspective of Catawba County’s business community.

Lori Alala reflects on the future impact of The Foundation, “The charter Board of Directors has had the formidable task in its first year of establishing the entity and has completed our first project with our second on the horizon. Looking ahead, The Foundation’s impact promises to endure for generations to come. Its legacy will be defined by the collective achievements of a community united in its vision for a brighter future.”

The Chamber of Catawba County would like to recognize and thank the dynamic and visionary leadership who has served on the Charter Board of Directors.

Chair: Lori Alala Broome Insurance, a Legacy Insurance Partner
Vice Chair, Zack Cranford, Cranford Hospitality
Treasurer, Brandon Hucks, Rock House Farm Family of Brands
Pat Carver, First Citizens Bank
Philip Moore, Pinnacle Financial Partners
John Teeter, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Hickory
Sheree Watson, Graystone Eye
Roger Young, David E. Looper & Company, Inc.
John Bray, Vanguard Furniture, Inc. 

Hear the vision for The Catawba County Chamber Foundation from the perspective of the esteemed members of the charter Board of Directors by viewing the video below that was debuted to the audience of 360 business and community leaders at The Chamber of Catawba County’s 52nd Annual Meeting & Reception. 

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