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South Jordan Journal

To go forward, SoJo Chamber of Commerce rewinds, reverts to full-time paid president

Aug 06, 2019 01:04PM ● By Jennifer J Johnson

For the first time in more than a decade, SoJo Chamber of Commerce board members Merilee Rowley and Matthias Allred will have a full-time president to implement the board’s vision for supporting existing members already committed to the chamber and attracting new companies to the organization. (SoJo Chamber)

By Jennifer J. Johnson | [email protected] 

In late May, South Jordan was named one of the best small cities in the country for small business.

In June, The SoJo Chamber of Commerce had its most well-attended Business Summit ever, attracting more than 140 attendees and 40 vendor sponsors. Coldwell Banker Commercial Retail Specialist Brady Davies coached businesses about how to maximize engagement in the business climate.

Later this month, the chamber will host its first-ever golf tournament, one of its annual “signature events,” on its home turf—another entity getting its groove back, SoJo’s Glenmoor Golf Course--according to SoJo Chamber Chair and Selling Salt Lake broker Merilee Rowley.

To best capitalize on all the momentum, and best go forward, SoJo Chamber board members decided to rewind and go backward and do what was working well more than a decade ago. As a result, this month will be the first month in more than 10 years that the chamber will have a full-time paid president of the organization on board.

“Take the Chamber to the next Level” through implementation

New chamber president Brian Synan is in his first month serving in the newly created post. 

However, Synan is no stranger to the organization, having served as a member of the board of directors and the treasurer for the organization before becoming its newest employee.

Longtime executive administrator for the organization, Shelley Potts, will continue in a part-time capacity, according to chamber leadership.

Synan, who last month ended his nine-year stint as general manager for Gordmans department store in SoJo’s The District Mall, also serves on the board of directors for the Jordan Education Foundation.

A member of the SoJo chamber for seven years, Synan said his goal is to “take the chamber to the next level.” While he credits the chamber’s strong core and idea generation, he said, “Now it’s going to be time to implement these ideas. “All of the members of the board of directors have had full-time jobs. [Now] we are going to realize some of the things we have been talking about for the past year or two.”

Educate and advocate

For Synan, the newly infused SoJo Chamber will be all about educating and advocating for members.

Until the arrival of Synan, Rowley was serving as both the board chair and president of the organization—both unpaid roles. The addition of Synan allows her to focus more on heading the organization’s various functional responsibilities, hopefully leading to a more fully functioning chamber.

“We decided we can’t function as well as we want to without a paid president,” she said. “He is going to be in charge of a whole gamut of tasks, including helping new members get involved.”

“This is a sign that we really want to be serious about building the chamber,” said Hugh Washburn, vice-chair for the SoJo Chamber and co-owner of SoJo business Elements Massage.

“We expect great things from him,” Rowley said.