McCray takes post as Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce executive director

John Thompson • Updated Jun 2, 2020 at 8:11 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The new executive director of the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce assumed her duties this week and has already brought with the some plans for new training programs and advice that can benefit the Chamber’s members.

One of the first things on the agenda for Joy McCray when she took over as director on Monday was to provide some technology training for members who would like to receive it. “We haven’t finalized it yet, but we are planning to offer two sessions of training on how to do virtual meetings,” McCray said during an interview with the Johnson City Press on Tuesday afternoon.

The programs will familiarize participants with the methods of operating a virtual meeting using software such as Zoom, Skype or other virtual meeting platforms. She said the training session can even reflect the topic, with some of the participants choosing to come to the Chamber for the training, while others participating from their home, office, or other remote location.

Many people have become familiar with virtual meetings because of their increased use during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As more and more people become familiar with virtual meetings, the opportunities for their effective use in business will increase.

The Chamber is also following the experience of businesses in reopening its office. Just as restaurants offered patrons a variety of dining options, McCray said the Chamber is learning from the experience. She said June 1 was not only the date of her first day on the job, but it was also the date of the Chamber’s reopening.

Like reopened restaurants, the Chamber is now offering its members more options than just an open door. The staff is even offering curbside service for its members who would rather not get out of their car.

McCray said the impact of the pandemic has also encouraged the Chamber to encourage its members to follow Gov. Bill Lee’s “Tennessee Pledge” in rebooting the economy and returning to work safely.

McCray’s last position before coming to the Chamber was director of development for the Frontier Health Foundation.

As a native of Elizabethton, she appears eager to promote the town and the county. In the announcement that she had been chosen as the new executive director, McCray said: “I love this part of our region. The beautiful lakes, rivers and mountains that are the backdrop to our community are a great place to start when we talk about regionalism. Come hike our trails, fish our rivers and then stay awhile and enjoy all the highlights our town and county have to offer. Elizabethton and Carter County have been a ‘pass-through’ region for too long and it’s time we enhance all the wonderful things our community has to offer as we build tourism, industry, education and commerce. I am excited for the opportunity to be part of my hometown’s future in this role.”