Tips from Your Chamber Professional Association
Chamber Executive Spotlight
Nicole Ward                                   
Nicole Ward     
Cochran-Bleckley Chamber  
How long have you been
in the Chamber profession
1.5 years  

How long have you been in your current position?
1.5 years      

What do you love most about your job?
Working with the Chamber, as well as the Industrial Development Authority keeps me super busy, but I love that I am able to work with both organizations and that there is never a dull moment. Working to make a difference in the community and helping our local businesses grow has been what I love most.  

Tell us about your most embarrassing Chamber moment.
Still being new to the job, I have not had an embarrassing Chamber moment at this point. I do read all the embarrassing moments other Chamber executives have had when the GACCE Chamber Spotlight comes out, and I can only pray that mine is not as embarrassing as some. 
Which Chamber Executive has had the biggest impact on your career and how
Throughout my work experience, I have learned to ask questions of others in the field, and I have learned there are always people willing to help if you just ask. There are many people that have assisted me throughout my short time in the Chamber world. but there are two that I seem to harass more than others and that is Darlene McLendon and Heath Taylor. I could not do what I do without their support, and I greatly appreciate them for being there when I need them.   
What is your Chamber's signature event?
We have three large events every year, but I would have to say our signature event is Country Fest. This all-day arts and crafts event is held on the third Saturday in October every year. We also have kids activities, entertainment throughout the day, and feature a live band for our street dance that evening. The event has changed names over the years, but it started in 1986. The Country Fest name has been used for 10 years now.
What is your favorite Georgia destination outside of the one you represent and why?
Georgia has many great places and several I have not yet visited, but one of my favorite destinations is St. Simons Island. I love the beach, but St. Simons has that laid back feel that keeps me coming back year after year. There are numerous places to eat, lots of great shops, a water part, putt-putt golf, and so much more. I hope to own a house down there one day and may even retire there. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As my mother reminds me often, I loved playing teacher and would force my little brother and all my Barbie dolls to be my students. I'm not sure that my brother learned anything besides how bossy his sister could be, but I sure had fun pretending I was a teacher. I'm not sure I would have had the patience to be a teacher, but I'm glad I ended up working with the Chamber and IDA in such a great community.