News - G.U. and Chamber Hire Joint Employee to Facilitate Partnership

G.U. and Chamber Hire Joint Employee to Facilitate Partnership

by Rachel Heston-Davis G.U. and Chamber Hire Joint Employee to Facilitate Partnership

Greenville University and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce announce the hire of a joint employee who will help strengthen both economic growth and educational opportunities in the region.

Elaine McNamara of Pocahontas, Illinois, will communicate with and promote Chamber programming for local businesses, and connect businesses to the University’s groundbreaking Greenville SMART services.

One Foot In Each Camp

Greenville SMART offers professional and technical assistance to grow local companies and encourage startups. It gives University students access to internships, networking and more. As Chamber of Commerce and Greenville SMART Director, McNamara will enhance this growth partnership between small university and small town, between student and business owner.

“The addition of an employee who straddles both worlds will yield exciting results,” says Greenville University Executive Vice President Suzanne Davis, citing McNamara’s “background in publicity, event planning and business development” as promising preparation for the role. McNamara has previously worked in management positions and was the VP of Guillot Technology Services, Inc. in Highland, Illinois.

Greenville Chamber President Randy Alderman adds that hiring a joint employee with the University helps the Chamber to “better serve our community and Chamber members.”

A Hub of Activities and Service

McNamara will help implement the services of the Greenville SMART Center, a historic building on the city square currently undergoing renovation. It will include space for business incubators and start-ups, conferences, workshops, events/speakers and retail.

  • 6-10 local businesses will utilize the Center space immediately following renovations.
  • Mike Aden, project manager for the Center, estimates that the initiative could generate 80 jobs over the next five years.
  • A demonstration kitchen and retail space for local food producers taps into the economic promise of the farm-to-table movement.
  • Greenville SMART received a hefty vote of confidence from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration in the form of a $1M grant toward renovations.

This story was published on November 02, 2018

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