Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

HCHC CEO takes on leadership role within the Chamber

Rob Gardner will serve as Chamber President for 2018
Jan 30, 2018
Photo by: Karyn Spory Henry County Health Center’s CEO Rob Gardner will be taking on a new challenge this year as he will serve as president of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance. Above, Gardner, left, presented out-going president, Jeff Fedler, right, with a plaque for his service.

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News


Henry County Health Center CEO Rob Gardner may not be a Mt. Pleasant native, but ask the new Chamber President where’s home and he’ll say right here.

“I’ve been in this community now for 20 years,” Gardner told his fellow chamber members after he was passed the gavel during the annual organizational meeting and banquet on Thursday, Jan. 25. Gardner said he and his wife had never lived anywhere longer than the communities they grew up in, which for Gardner was Benton. “This is our home now. And I feel very proud and fortunate to call Mt. Pleasant home.”

This sense of gratitude was one of the reasons Gardner wanted to take on more of a leadership role within the chamber. “I love the Chamber because it does so much for our community — economically and quality of life,” Gardner said after the banquet. “Mt. Pleasant has been very good to me and my family and if I can do something and be an active part of (it’s success) over the next few years, it’s a wonderful opportunity.”

Gardner said he was approached last year to see if he had any interest in tackling a new role within the chamber. He was then nominated as President-Elect last winter as Jeff Fedler took the helm of the Chamber.

As Fedler passed the gavel to Gardner last week, the new Chamber President says his goals are simple: to continue the good work already being done. Last year the Chamber initiated several new programs including the Henry County Leadership Program and Small Business Week. “Those programs will continue to be a priority this year,” he said. During the Chamber Banquet, Gardner encouraged his fellow business members to support the leadership program by either sending an employee through the class or by sponsoring one of the sessions.

As for small businesses, Gardner also promised the Chamber will do a better job of promoting members through inititaves such as Small Business Week. “We will highlight five small businesses and focus on the importance of small business in our community,” he told members during the banquet. Small businesses are vital to Mt. Pleasant as 87 percent of Chamber members have 25 or less employees. “We need to continue to support our small businesses by shopping local.”

Gardner said the chamber will not only continue these programs, but also will work to solve community issues like the lack of child care within the city. “Just a few years ago we stood up here and we talked about the housing need and the housing crisis. Look at our community now.” Currently, developers are building an apartment complex on the southeast part of town and over the past three years, the number of building permits approved by the city council has grown. Gardner said during his time as Chamber President he and Executive Vice President Kristi Ray will continue to work with elected leaders and business leaders to find a new opportunity for a child care center.

Lastly, as president Gardner wants to grow the number of volunteers within the Chamber. “We have an outstanding Chamber Alliance that continues to work on behalf of its members. To help it succeed we need to be involved and give back,” he said. “You get back so much more than you give when you volunteer. So I’m going to encourage all of you to become involved this year.”


Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.