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Posted: February 21, 2014 3:57 p.m.

Chamber's eco. dev. office in transition

Chamber's Vice President of Economic Development

(Covington, GA), February 20, 2014 – The Newton County Chamber of Commerce announced today that Dave Bernd has been named as Vice President of Economic Development.

After 33 years with Kimberly Clark, Bernd brings a wealth of industrial knowledge and experience to the position. For over 12 years Dave had responsibly for site selection of new manufacturing facilities in North and South America. He opened green field facilities in Paris Texas, Beech Island S.C., Fullerton Cal., Bogotá Colombia, Cordoba/Mendoza Argentina, Lima Peru and Valencia Venezuela. He was responsible for developments similar in size and scope to the current Baxter facility that is currently under construction. His experience and positions most recently within Kimberly-Clark was to turn around sites and divisions that were struggling. These included several facilities and a Research and Development organizations within the US and Canada, using Lean/Six-Sigma tools and practices.

“This brings a very unique experience skill set to ensure we maintain our competitive edge not only to attract, but also to retain and strengthen our current very diverse multinational industrial base here in Newton County” said Chamber President, Hunter Hall.

“Dave brings an incredibly unique perspective to the position; that of the actual manufacturing customer. Most Economic Development recruiting positions focus solely on selling the community they work for. Dave certainly will do that, having moved here last year when he could have moved anywhere in the United States. Dave understands what the industry executive needs and the variables that are at play to locate in a community because that is exactly what he was tasked with at KC.” said Hall.

Bernd came on board at the Chamber in November as the Director of Commercial Development. He has overseen the County wide retail analysis, attracted the attention of at least a dozen retail and commercial developers and done an incredible job networking locally, state wide, and across the southeast. “I have no doubt in his ability to “sell” Newton County and build the state and regional contacts required to successfully serve in this role.” Hall said.

Filling the seat that Bernd is vacating will be Serra Phillips. Serra has been leading the Main Street organization since last summer after the resignation of it’s former Director. “We have worked with Serra for sometime and know her well as she has served on our Tourism Advisory Committee. Serra will be a great asset as our Director of Commercial Development because she is very driven and goal oriented, articulate, and has great local connections that will be critical for the position.”

She will work under the direction of Dave Bernd who created the position, facilitated the market study, generated the contacts, and formulated the strategy that Serra will be implementing.

Any questions or inquiries can be directed to Hunter Hall at Hhall@newtonchamber.com or Dave Bernd at Dwbernd@selectnewton .com by calling the office at 770-786-7510.

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