The City of Chattanooga, located in Southeast Tennessee near the corners of Georgia and Alabama, is the economic engine driving the economy of a 545,000 person MSA incorporating portions of six counties. Chattanooga, the fourth largest city in Tennessee with a population of 174,000 persons, is the seat of Hamilton County, which has a growing population of more than 350,000. Chattanooga-Hamilton County is centrally located among the cities of Nashville, TN, to the northwest, Knoxville, TN, to the northeast, Atlanta, GA, to the southeast and Birmingham, AL, to the southwest, and is bisected by three major interstate highways, making the area a gateway for logistics and freight movement throughout the southeastern United States.
Chattanooga is the heart of a vibrant and growing regional economy linked to manufacturing, technology, retail and professional services. The Chattanooga economy includes the headquarters of major insurance, trucking, food and beverage, and manufacturing operations as well as a strong tourism sector. Chattanooga is also a logistics and communications hub with excellent rail, river, and highway connectivity, as well as America’s fastest broadband access with availability of 10 gigabit Internet speeds to every home and business in a 600 square mile area delivered by EPB, the Chattanooga power distributor, using the fiber optic network as the backbone for the most automated and interactive smart grid in the country.
A focus on protecting the natural environment, close proximity of mountains and the Tennessee River to the downtown area and mild seasonal weather make Chattanooga a natural center of tourism and active outdoor living. As a result, Chattanooga now enjoys a quality of life and economic vitality that national publications ranging from Outside magazine to Industry Week have rated among the best in America.
CHATTANOOGA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce was established in 1887 and is a 501(c)(6) that serves more than 1,800 member companies with a mission to champion member businesses and promote regional economic growth. The Chattanooga Chamber Foundation, an independent but related 501(c)(3), was chartered in 1969, to promote community and economic development and is recognized for its lead role in the area’s recruitment and job creation successes. The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Chattanooga Chamber Foundation are collectively known as “the Chamber” and are engaged in close and productive partnerships with local government, philanthropic, and corporate entities.
THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
The Sr. Director of Public Policy of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce coordinates and manages all governmental affairs and governmental relations strategies at the local, state and federal levels. The successful candidate will have the skills necessary to cultivate active working relationships with representatives from government, business, community and other stakeholder audiences to enhance the Chamber’s ability to influence policy development and advance the initiatives of the Chamber and business community. The position works closely with volunteer leadership and the Public Policy Committee to develop the Chamber’s legislative agenda, with the Chamber’s 12 Councils to understand their roles in impacting policy decisions that affect their constituents with economic development staff to influence governmental policies that encourage and support job growth and talent development.
Key functions include:
Develop the department’s strategic plan and aligns initiatives of the annual plan to enhance the effectiveness of strategic initiatives of the Chamber and Foundation.
Influence and persuade government representatives and entities or key community leaders to adopt positions consistent with Chamber objectives.
Establish and foster relationships that allow the Chamber to convene business, government, education and community leaders in working through issues that impact the local economy.
Serve as the Chamber’s lobbyist in Nashville during sessions of the Tennessee General Assembly and maintains non-partisan relationships with local delegates year round.
Direct advocacy efforts for the Chamber at all levels of government and regularly attend City Council meetings and County Commission meetings.
Build, maintain and mobilize, as needed, a grassroots network of business support and key political contacts in order to inform and influence policy decisions.
Serve as a face and voice of the Chamber and the Chattanooga business community by engaging in frequent activities that require media savvy, political acumen, and persuasiveness.
Coordinate closely with Communications and other departments to develop, implement and deploy consistent communications and policy strategies that permeate and undergird all programs and departments.
Candidates for this position will be evaluated by Senior Staff and an advisory committee consisting of a small group of volunteer leaders. The most qualified individuals will be invited to participate in the next phase of the selection process. For consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume and references, combined into one .pdf document, no later than January 21, 2018.
A minimum of five years of high level experience in public policy with a proven record of success.
A firm grasp of core business competencies including building strategic plans, accomplishing work through managing others and managing to budgetary constraints is required.
Prior experience in political campaigns, governmental service, public relations, strategic communications, lobbying or advocacy, or organized public awareness campaigns is highly desired.
Prior experience in the Chamber industry or other business association, volunteer boards and managing volunteer-driven initiatives is highly beneficial.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with a major in business, political science, public policy, public affairs, communications or related disciplines. Advanced degree a plus.
Must be eligible to register as a lobbyist with the states of Tennessee and Georgia and the federal government. Must be legally eligible to work in the U.S., eligible to obtain a U.S. passport, hold a valid driver’s license and be insurable.
Additional Salary Information: Negotiable commensurate with experience and qualifications.
The mission of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau is to strengthen the area economy by marketing Chattanooga as a year-round destination for conventions, meetings, trade shows and leisure travel, and to provide information and services that enhance and reinforce that image for the area’s visitors. The Chattanooga CVB is partially funded by membership dues, and is the designated recipie...nt of proceeds from the Hamilton County Hotel-Motel Occupancy Privilege Tax, generally restricted for the purpose of promoting tourism by recruiting prospective clients, advertising and other promotional activities.