KINGSTON—The chair of the Roane County Chamber of Commerce board for the 2013-2014 year is Chris Ahler, who owns his own investment management business in Harriman.
Ahler took over July 1 from outgoing board chair Kenyon Mee, the facility manager of Diversified Scientific Services, a subsidiary of Perma-Fix Environmental Services.
“Our Chamber board this year is one of the strongest in recent memory. It brings youth and experience all at the same time to a board that already boasts a virtual ‘Who’s Who’ of Roane County business and community leaders,” Chamber President Leslie Henderson said. “I am so pleased and gratified that all of these folks have agreed to serve (or continue to serve) our Chamber membership and our community in this way.”
A native of Harriman, Ahler graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and an executive master’s of business administration in 2007 from the International University of Monaco. Ahler is fluent in Italian and has worked in Nashville and Atlanta in the financial industry before starting his own investment management business, which is registered with Visionary Horizons Wealth Management. A 2007 graduate of Leadership Roane County, Ahler is also the 2012 recipient of the Chamber’s Paul E. Goldberg Young Professional Award.
Ahler says his focus for the year will be on growing membership. “The larger the membership base, the more we can accomplish,” he said.
At the July meeting, the Chamber board approved Ahler’s choice for the board’s chair-elect: Gail Lyke, vice president/branch manager, First Bank of Tennessee. In addition to her long-time service on the Chamber board, Lyke was the Chamber’s 2013 Woman of the Year, a board member of Leadership Roane County, is a member of the Rockwood Civitan Club and the Rockwood Business Professional Women’s Club and a member of Roane County’s Women Executives.
The 2013-2014 Chamber board also includes five new board members: Becky Ruppe, Jude Miller, Rick Ross, Marilyn Calfee, and Randy Hodge.
Becky Ruppe is the city recorder for the City of Rockwood and has an extensive background in government in neighboring Morgan County, serving six years on the county school board, six years as county executive and two years as executive director of economic development. Ruppe serves on numerous boards and civic organizations including CASA of the 9th Judicial District and Rockwood Civitan. Ruppe will serve as chair of the Membership Committee.
Jude Miller, a native of Kingston, is the owner and clinic director of Active Family and Sports Chiropractic, and is also an adjunct professor at Roane State Community College. He is a graduate of Leadership Roane County and is currently a member of its board of directors. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club.
Rick Ross, also a native of Kingston, worked in counseling before finding his dream-job—director of Kingston’s Parks and Recreation department. As the director, he implemented such activities as youth camps and triathlons —one especially for kids, and he has carried on the tradition of Smokin’ the Water July 4th Festival, Roane County’s largest event. Ross is a member of the Kingston Lions Club and chairman of the Roane County Youth Athletic Association. Ross will serve as co-chair of the Tourism Committee.
Marilyn Calfee is retired from DPRA Inc., where she was the human resource manager. Calfee serves on the Roane County E-911 Board and is a member of its Budget Committee, and she serves on the Relay for Life Event Committee. A resident of Roane County since 2000, Calfee is a master beef producer and raises Angus cattle.
Randy Hodge, a certified public accountant, is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Roane County and has been a Roane County resident since 2009. Hodge received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and his master’s of business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He will serve as the treasurer of the 2013-2014 Chamber board.
Other board changes include: Eric Bacon, of AGA Insurance, was named chair of the Finance Committee; Kenyon Mee will be chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee; Chris Whaley, president of Roane State Community College, will serve as chair of the Government Affairs Committee; and Rick Ross and Paul Cowell will be co-chairing the Tourism Committee.
The Chamber is a partner in The Roane Alliance—Roane County’s economic development organization. The partners who operate under the Alliance umbrella along with the Chamber include the Industrial Development Board and Visitors Bureau.