Steadman selected to lead Darlington Chamber
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce has been known for two things in recent years: a turnover of executive directors, and hosting Freedom Fest, the largest event in the Pee Dee for two years in a row.
“I hope that everyone attends Freedom Fest,” says new executive director Norm Steadman. “And that they know that I am here to stay, to see this chamber grow.”
Steadman is not a stranger to the operation of a chamber of commerce; he has been employed by the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce since November 2013 as administrative assistant, and was promoted to communications specialist by incoming chamber President Quinetta Buterbaugh as her first order of business when she came on board in October 2014.
“The Greater Darlington Chamber Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Norman Steadman as the Chamber’s new Executive Director,” said Jannie Latham, the board chair of the chamber. “Mr. Steadman has a strong background in local chamber operations and management. We are looking forward to another stellar year at the Darlington Chamber with his leadership, creativity and enthusiasm.”
The most recent Darlington director, Sabrina Derry, was with the chamber since September 2015, and accepted a position with Wells Fargo. She assisted with the chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet, and bid her farewell at the January Darlington City Council monthly meeting. Derry accepted the position after Hannah Stanley left after the last Freedom Fest event in July; Stanley held the post for two years, and is now employed by the Hampton Inn in Hartsville.
Steadman spent his first week in the Darlington office last week, and has many goals for the upcoming months.
“I really want to bring back monthly events,” he said. “Business After Hours events are a great way for people to meet one another, and it’s important to be consistent. The Lunch and Learn events may become quarterly events.”
Steadman is a University of Phoenix graduate in with a Bachelor’s of the Arts in Business with a concentration in accounting in April, 2015; he began his college education in Pittsburg PA in 2011, earning an Associate’s Degree in accounting in 2013.
His mother, Barb Steadman, Secretary of the College & Director of Constituent Relations for Coker College of Hartsville, urged him to move to South Carolina.
“And I am so glad I did,” said Steadman.
Since relocating to the warmer climate, Steadman has gotten involved with many community programs in Hartsville including serving on the board of directors for Hartsville Christmas in April, and the Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville. He is also a member of the Toastmasters.
Now that he will be based in Darlington, he is actively looking for ways to share his passion for the community by volunteering and assisting with the areas that the chamber serves, Darlington, Lamar, and Society Hill.
He will also overhaul the existing website and update the directory of members, which is rebuilding.
“We have some work to do,” said Steadman. “But we have a very committed, hard-working board that is very committed to helping the businesses in the area grow. When I drive through some areas of South Carolina, I think, ‘they have the potential to do well in ten years’ – here in Darlington, I see that potential as early as this year. With Walmart coming in bringing in more jobs and new retail spaces, Darlington is going to grow. And I am excited to be a part of that.”