By William C. Singleton III
After six years with the Homewood Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Tricia Ford is retiring.
Ford said she will hang on until the chamber finds her replacement, but her target date for retirement is the end of the year.
“If they haven’t found the person, I’m going to continue as an interim executive director until they do,” she said.
Ford said she decided retiring now was the right time for her and her family. Her husband, Jim, is also retiring, and they plan to spend time traveling and enjoying life. Ford said she wants to visit Ireland again.
“Retirement is such a funny word,” she said. “It conjures in my mind rocking on the front porch watching traffic go by, but that’s the furthest thing from what I plan on doing. I hope to do some consulting work, but I just have so many hobbies, one of which is my greatest love, and that’s my horses. I also plan on gardening and reading and painting.”
Ford came to the Homewood Chamber of Commerce in October 2008 after six years as executive director of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. Prior to her career working with area chambers, she had her own full-service advertising firm, Market Potential Inc.
During her tenure with Homewood, the chamber has seen tremendous growth and participation in events, city and chamber leaders said. The chamber’s signature events such as Taste of Homewood and the Golf Classic have continued to be successful raising funds for scholarships for Homewood High students, chamber leaders said.
The chamber has also established an ambassadors program under Ford’s watch. The ambassadors program is designed to bring new energy and ideas to the chamber.
“Through Tricia’s guidance, the chamber has grown its membership and built a strong foundation that the community can be proud of,” Chamber President Trey Schaefer said. “Her commitment to Homewood and her passion for our businesses have brought recognition to our community from around the state.”
Mayor Scott McBrayer said Ford has been a strong advocate for Homewood.
“I’ve known and respected Tricia for a long time and have always appreciated her willingness to work so hard to promote Homewood,” he said. “She will be greatly missed, but I know she and her husband, Jim, will have many years to enjoy during retirement. We certainly love them and wish them well.”
Ford said her success as an executive director is a result of the support from city officials and fellow chamber members.
“It has been an amazing six years serving as executive director of such a strong chamber,” she said. “What an honor to represent a community unlike any other. A heartfelt thank you to my tremendous board of directors, city council and our mayor. Without such strong support we would not be where we are today.”
The chamber is accepting applications for the position of executive director. Individuals interested in the job are encouraged to send a letter of application and resume to Homewoodchambersecretary@gmail.com. The deadline for submission is Nov. 21 at noon. The job description has been posted on the chamber’s website, www.homewoodchamber.org.