Monthly Archives: May 2014



One of the priorities of the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce is to build leaders that are poised to tackle some of our community’s greatest challenges. For over 30 years this community has hosted Leadership Gaston which is a program specifically designed to expose participants to community issues and concerns. Over the year’s graduates from the program have gone on to become county commissioners, state reps, non-profit executive directors and have done incredible things for this community. However, our leadership development efforts must not stop there.

While I served as President/CEO of the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce I would often get asked what I thought were Gaston County’s greatest opportunities. My first answer would always be… developing leadership! Our community possesses a wealth of untapped leadership that needs to be developed and engaged to mold the future of Gaston County. This untapped leadership exists throughout the county, in our churches, schools, and business community. Strong communities must have strong, engaged leaders that are willing to embrace a vision, take bold action, and get results. Gaston County is rich in leadership must we must develop more and properly engage them in organizations, political offices, or positions in which they can help make a difference.

If is for this reason that the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce has made leadership development a pillar within their organization to help build a stronger Gaston County. However, the Chamber cannot and should not do it alone. Leadership must be developed in every part of our community and they must communicate and work together for the betterment of the county. A comprehensive 5-year plan is being developed that will develop and implement a Gaston County leadership course of study in local education institutions, build a broad-based network of community leaders who have embraced their leadership abilities and skills toward solutions in the public interest, establish a Gaston County Volunteer Center to recommend and encourage new leaders for active service in the Gaston County area, and educate the Gaston County area on the importance of leadership.

The future of Gaston County and its economic well-being will be determined by the vision and leadership of the men and women who live and work here. Let me encourage you to get involved, get engaged, and make a difference for this great community. In the end you will be glad you did.

John Kimbrell, former President/CEO

Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce