New Abilene Chamber of Commerce leader named

ABILENE, Texas - The Abilene Chamber of Commerce has a new president/CEO.

Jason Smith, 44, currently vice president of economic development for the Lincoln, Neb., Chamber of Commerce, was officially announced Monday that he would head Abilene's chamber efforts.

Smith has served as vice president of economic development for the Lincoln chamber for more than nine years.

From the Abilene Chamber of Commerce news release:

In that role, Smith has led the community's economic development efforts which resulted in over 8,000 new jobs since 2004 and over $1 billion in new capital investment.  The organization was cited for excellence in 2012 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and Business Facilities magazine and the Lincoln Chamber was the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Finalist for Chamber of the Year in 2011.  Prior, he worked seven years in McAlester, Okla. as the Executive Director of McAlester Economic Development Service. 

Abilene Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Katie Alford said, "Our Chamber is delighted to announce that Jason Smith has been selected as our new Chamber President & CEO. Jason has demonstrated a record of achievement. He knows that member service – building business and building community – is the foundation for a successful Chamber and a successful community. We are pleased to have Jason and his talents join us at this exciting time for our Chamber and community."

Smith is no stranger to the west Texas area having grown up near Wichita Falls where his family owns a farm and ranch.  He said he was pleased to be returning to familiar surroundings and looked forward to getting to know the people of Abilene."I am very excited for the opportunity to lead a much respected organizatio

n in a great community," Smith said.  "I look forward to getting to know the staff and members of our organization quickly and look forward to building on the outstanding work of my predecessors.  I want to thank the Board of Directors of the Abilene Chamber for this opportunity."

Smith achieved Certification in Economic Development (CEcD) from IEDC in 2004.  In addition to his work for the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Smith has served as Chairman of Community Development Resources, a local CDFI and CDC lender; and the Nebraska Economic Developers Association.  He currently sits on the boards of the Downtown Lincoln Association and Lincoln South Rotary.

Jason is a graduate of Cameron University in Lawton, Okla.  He has two children, Shanna and Ethan who both reside in Oklahoma.


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