Strickland, Walden promoted at Chamber

Published 11:38 am Friday, August 13, 2010

A search committee looking for a new president of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that its promoting from within.

Diane Strickland was named president, replacing Evelyn Clay. Strickland served as membership director for the chamber for the past four years. Prior to joining the chamber, Strickland worked for WMGR and WJAD for 13 years and was in commercial property management.

Kim Walden, who joined the chamber’s staff in March as its executive assistant, was promoted to membership and communications director. She recently relocated to Bainbridge from Gainesville, Fla., almost a year ago.

Email newsletter signup

“I’m extremely excited about the selection of Diane as president, and Kim stepping up as membership director,” said Matt Palmer, the chamber’s chairman and a member of the nine-member search committee. “Overall, we have a great team to work with.”

Palmer said the search committee received 10 applications from all over, including applicants from within southwest Georgia, within the state and across the country.

“Turns out, the best one had been under our noses,” Palmer said of Strickland. He also said it’s always good to promote from within.

Strickland said her and Walden will make a good team and she is looking forward to “good things to come.”

“I’m overwhelmed by well-wishers and people who seem genuinely happy that I’ve been promoted,” Strickland said.

In a release to the chamber’s board and others, Palmer said Strickland has done an outstanding job as membership director in cultivating new members and retaining current members in this tough business climate.

“Diane also played a vital role in the chamber’s accreditation process,” Palmer said. “Diane’s past experience in management, sales and finance will all be utilized in not only continuing the program of work for the chamber, but further enhancing the organization.”

Strickland has lived her entire life in Bainbridge, and she is a graduate of Bainbridge High School.

“We feel this connection to the community will be very beneficial in her role as president,” Palmer said.

Walden, on the other hand, is bringing new and exciting ideas to the chamber’s operation, Palmer said.

“Kim has previous experience with the Gator Boosters and the United Way of North Florida,” Palmer said. “This experience in dealing with member organizations and fund-raising will be a huge attribute for the chamber.”

Strickland is married to John Strickland, and they have two sons and one grandson.

Walden is married to Hilman Walden III, a local dentist. They have a son and a daughter.