Sims leaving Dayton Chamber of Commerce

Jessica Sims

After five years leading the Dayton Chamber of Commerce as executive director, Jessica Sims is leaving to accept a job in business development with First Liberty National Bank. Her last day with the Chamber is Tuesday, May 10, the same day as the monthly chamber luncheon.

“I am sad to be leaving but I am super excited about my new venture,” Sims told Bluebonnet News. “I am really happy that I will still be working here locally.”

In her five years as executive director, Sims has grown the Chamber membership to where it now enjoys about five new members per month. She also helped the Chamber through one of its most challenging periods – the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic was a bigger deal than people realized. We weren’t able to meet and help market our business members like we normally do. A lot of things were put on standstill. We weren’t able to host events, so it impacted us quite a bit,” Sims said. “Once we got back in the community center [after it reopened], we hit the ground running. We hosted a Taste of Dayton outside of the community center and people were really receptive to it. Last year, our Taste of Dayton brought in 500 people.”

The Chamber’s annual golf tournament also has grown since Sims was made executive director. Last year, 100 golfers participated in this fundraising event.

Sims said the decision to leave the Chamber was difficult as she is very passionate about assisting local businesses and the community.

“I love this organization and the individuals I have the privilege of working with this role. It has been an extreme pleasure serving this organization, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish as a team in the past five years. You welcomed me with open arms from day one and I couldn’t be more thankful,” she said. “I am certain the organization has a bright future serving the business community. The Dayton Chamber continues to grow and thrive and I am ecstatic to see what more exciting possibilities will happen with this Chamber.”

According to Sims, the Chamber board is now looking at options for replacing her.

“There will be board meetings and they will be thinking about prospects. Thank goodness, we have Shelby [Eiland],” Sims said of the Chamber’s administrative assistant. “She will be able to step in and help the Board as much as she can. She’s been an asset as well.”

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