AACOC Announces David Bradley as President/CEO

Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Names David Bradley President and Chief Executive Officer

(For Immediate Release – June 25, 2018) The Board of Directors of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce (AACOC) has named David Bradley president and chief executive officer of the business organization.  The announcement was made this week after a unanimous vote of the board.

Bradley currently serves as President/CEO of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce in Statesville, North Carolina.  The city is in Iredell County which has a population of more than 176,000 citizens and is part of greater Charlotte.  He has held that position since 2005.

“David is bringing a wealth of knowledge to the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Shannon Wilder, chair of the AACOC board.  “His proven track record in building solid, value-added and relevant programs for chambers of commerce was one of the key factors in our decision-making process.  The second characteristic that added to our evaluation is his ability to find common ground when building teams to address community-wide issues.  Finally, he has a proven track record of growing membership and increasing revenue, which are key goals for our board. These traits will add tremendous benefits to our membership and the Athens region.”


A graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, Bradley started his career in the manufacturing business.  He began his tenure with chambers of commerce in 1998 when he was selected to serve as president and chief executive officer of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber in North Carolina.  In 2005, Bradley moved to the Greater Statesville Chamber.


At Statesville, Bradley led a strategic plan in 2017 to expand the chamber’s relevance; developed and implemented a shared vision for Statesville with 12 community partners; and has begun to create minority programming directed to expanding economic benefits throughout the community. He was also involved in the implementation of a unique education framework utilizing Covey LeaderinMe programming in Iredell-Statesville Schools—attracting international attention.


Bradley is a 2002 graduate of the United States Chamber Institute for Organizational Management and has served as president of the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.  In 2004, he was named the North Carolina Executive of the Year.  Bradley received his Certified Chamber Executive degree in 2015 and is also a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Federation.


In Statesville, Bradley currently serves on the Statesville Regional Development Board of Directors, Downtown Statesville Development Board of Directors, and Statesville Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors.  He is also a founding member of Theatre Statesville and the Full Bloom Film Festival.


“The Athens Chamber will provide a great opportunity to continue my passion of building successful organizations,” says Bradley.  “The Athens region has a great foundation in place and I want to be a part of bringing AACOC into the mix of planning for the future, helping businesses grow and building new partnerships.  I am a firm believer in collaboration.”


Bradley and his wife, Dawn, will be moving to Athens-Clarke County during the month of July.  His first day at the chamber will be August 1.  Lenn Chandler, a retired executive with Georgia Power Company, is serving as interim president.  Doc Eldridge left the post on March 1 of this year to accept a position in community relations and business development with Twin Lakes Recovery Center.  He had served the chamber since 2007.


The executive search process was conducted in three phases.  The first phase focused on listening to the organization’s membership, community stakeholders and regional leaders about the type of executive they felt was important for the chamber.  During the second phase, a nationwide search was conducted for qualified candidates.  The third phase involved in-depth interviews with candidates.


In addition to Wilder, who serves as director Office of Service-Learning at the University of Georgia, other members of the search committee included Matt Bishop, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development; Doug Brouillard, Eaton Corporation; Tony Ferguson, Georgia Power; Dean Mannheimer, Synovus Bank; Jean Mullis, Jackson EMC; Michele Pearson, Edward Jones; Deanne Rosso, Vickery Financial Services; and Chuck Toney, Jackson Spalding.


The Chason Group, an executive recruitment firm specializing in chambers of commerce, economic development authorities and foundations, assisted the AACOC with the search.