Cabarrus Chamber picks Barbi Jones as Executive Director

L-R: Pat Horton, Barbi Jones, Dakeita Vanderburg-Johnson and XXXX XXXXX

L-R: Pat Horton, Barbi Jones, Dakeita Vanderburg-Johnson and Angie Brown at a Red Cross gala

March 14. Cabarrus County resident Barbi Jones, a long-time fixture in the world of non-profits and business in Cabarrus and more recently Charlotte, will become the new executive director of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce effective April 1.

Jones will be the first woman to lead the Cabarrus chamber.

She was most recently the chief communications and engagement officer at United Way of Central Carolinas in their regional office in Charlotte; before that she worked for Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County and in marketing with a real estate firm.

RELATED: Cabarrus Chamber looks to sub-lease offices

The job opening drew responses from a variety of qualified candidates across the country, said Tim Vaughn, the 2016 volunteer chairman of the board at the chamber.

“The search committee felt that traditional chamber experience was not necessary as we sought to redefine the model beyond what has always been in the past,” Vaughn said.

“What set Barbi apart was her steadfast community-minded spirit. In her previous positions, she has demonstrated tremendous leadership and a can-do attitude that have produced amazing results reaching every corner of the community. When we interviewed her, it was apparent from the first moment that she was the one for this position.”

Jones replaces interim CEO Terry Crawford who was brought in when CEO Patrick Coughlin was terminated last year. Coughlin lasted almost two years in the position which had been filled by CEO John Cox for more than a decade.

She will have the new title of Executive Director. The chamber and the Economic Development Corp., which once operated under the same umbrella, have agreed to separate.

“Since we are separating from the EDC we felt this was more appropriate of a member-serving organization,” a long-time bard member said.

During its heyday—before a variety of challenges ranging from the textile industry collapse to the closing of the Philip Morris plant—the chamber had more than 1,300 members.

Right now there are around 600 members.

Jones said, “It’s going to be great to be home.” said Jones. Known for a team-oriented approach and her connections to the well-connected in Cabarrus and Charlotte, Jones is a “home run”for the chamber, Vaughn said.


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