The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has named Lindsay M. Keisler, IOM, as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Keisler will succeed Danny Hearn who retired in September 2016 after serving the Catawba County Chamber for twelve years.
Keisler has served as the Interim President and CEO since October 1, 2016. She has held several roles in her seven year tenure at the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, but has most recently served as Senior Vice President for the past four years.
There is no denying that Keisler is passionate about Catawba County, specifically in the area of community and economic development & leadership development. During her time at the Chamber she has been instrumental in shifting their organizational purpose towards promoting business competitiveness success for all 820 member companies. As SVP, she has focused her efforts towards organizational excellence which has reaped measurable results including, an increased membership retention rate and overall profitability for the Chamber that they've invested back into their Program of Work each year for the past five years. Most notably, during her tenure the Chamber has been recognized as the 2014 Outstanding Chamber of the Year in North & South Carolina by the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives & the 2016 Chamber of the Year by the Association for Chamber of Commerce Executives.
As President/CEO, she will help set the future direction of the Catawba County business community and will continue to work alongside the Chamber's professional and talented staff to ensure Chamber programs and services run with a high degree of excellence that its membership has come to expect.
"I'm thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to lead this organization into our next chapter," said Keisler. "Surrounded by a highly engaged board, a stellar team, a network of collaborative community partners, and with the continued support of our Shareholders and Investors, we will remain the catalyst for a bright future in Catawba County."
An Executive Search Committee was formed last summer, with Darrell Johnson, Vice Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors appointed at the helm. The 11-member committee comprised of the 2016 Executive Committee, with the addition of a former chair. The committee hired a search firm who specializes in Chamber of Commerce executive placements, The Ewart Group, who conducted the search. Johnson stated, "We cast the net far and wide to find the right leader for our Chamber going forward. We narrowed down the vast candidate pool of applicants from across the southeast and conducted face-to-face interviews with three top candidates.
Initially Keisler declined the invitation by the Search Committee to contend for the position; however, it continued to be made absolutely apparent to our Board that our ideal candidate was already in place." Keisler stated when commenting on the process, "The support I've received, both internally and from our community at large has been overwhelmingly undeniable. I strongly believe continuing in this role is my calling and purpose at this point in time."
Johnson continued, "We, as a search committee have had the opportunity to see Lindsay in action since she has been serving as the Interim President/CEO since October, and it was clear to the committee that she had passion for the work and a passion for our county. After approaching Lindsay again her recent decision to enter into the process and be considered and interview for the role came as a delight to our committee and the Chamber Board as a whole. The result is that we believe we have identified our Chamber leadership for many years to come."
Keisler, a Catawba County native, graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing. In 2013, Keisler graduated from the United States Chamber Institute for Organization Management at the University of Georgia. She is a Leadership Catawba alumnus and was named one of the Greater Hickory Metro's Top 10 Under 40 in 2014. Lindsay resides in Conover, NC with her husband, Corey, & considers her most important role to be a wife and mother of her son, Jeb Franklin, and her second son expected in late March.