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New director hopes to refresh Chamber of Commerce

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 9:00 am


Dana Rodriguez was hired as the new Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Director last week. (Photo by Mark McGee)

When asked why she wanted to be the new director of the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Dana Rodriguez didn’t hesitate with her answer.

“I want to be able to make a difference,” Rodriguez said. “I want to make a difference in our community and be a part of the growth that we have coming.”

A native of Bedford County, Rodriguez has 20 years of experience in sales and recruiting including many years in the high-end service industry. She is excited about the future prospects for Shelbyville and Bedford County.

“It is exciting to see the growth we have had and how many businesses are coming,” Rodriguez said. “We all can look around and see that growth.”

The Chamber of Commerce is now a part of the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership. The role of the Chamber has changed as a result with more of an emphasis on serving its members and attracting new ones.

“Number one, I want to reevaluate all programming, revive the Ambassador Program, evaluate events, and focus on the value to our Chamber members,” Rodriguez said. “Make sure what we are doing has purpose, and at the heart of the purpose is the value it brings to our members.”

She continued, “The biggest thing is we must bring value to our members. With everything we do we want to determine what value it will be to our members.”

Rodriguez is a past graduate of Leadership Bedford and served on the board of directors for two years. She is active in her community, serving as the Treasurer for the East Bedford Civic Club, East Bedford Civic Enterprises, and the Wartrace Horse Show – a significant fundraiser for Cascade Schools. She also serves on the board of Wartrace Park and Recreation.

Rodriguez graduated from Cascade High School. She has an associate’s degree in business management from Motlow State Community College.

She wants to increase the business relationships for Chamber members beyond just offering them a chance to meet and exchange business cards.

“I want the members to get something out of our events. I want them to know we are here to support that small business and all businesses in the county. I want us to continue networking so everybody knows what these businesses do and how they fit.”

One area is going to be the scheduling of workshops to help businesses.

“Through our workshops we want to help our Chamber members to be a better business. Whether the workshop is about taxes, understanding their profits or losses, leadership management, or the efficient operation of their business,” Rodriguez said. “We want to give members the tools to know what they need to do to go further.”

She is enrolled in Professional Development through the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Dana and her husband, Manuel, reside on their farm in Wartrace and have one son, Luke.

“My focus is going to be on the businesses that are here and to support them,” Rodriguez said. “I am super competitive and I am here to make a difference.

“I am passionate about Bedford County. It is where I live, this is where my family is and this is where I want to make a difference!”