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Erin Cook is chamber chair

Erin Cook has been named the 2009 chair of the chamber of commerce board of directors. ’Last year was the first year I ever served on a board of any kind,’ said Cook. ‘It’s all new to me. When Scott Leverett approached me to step in and fill his shoes I was humbled and honored they had that much confidence in me as a leader. I hope to live up to their expectations.’ ’I’m looking forward to a great year. I hope to learn a lot and get a lot done,’ she said. ‘We plan to keep getting bigger and better with BBQ & Blues and Buggy Days. I also look forward to meeting lots of new people in the community.’ T.J. Imberger heads up the blues fest and ‘Tim Turner does a great job keeping Buggy Days traditions,’ she said. ‘We had a great year last year and a great group of people volunteering at the chamber.’ Expansion of both festivals ‘will bring more attention and revenue to Barnesville and Lamar County,’ she said. ‘We also hope to find new ways to market the community.’ For instance, the chamber’s Amanda Rose has just redeveloped Amanda Rose has just redeveloped its website,, one of its most powerful marketing tools. ’We’ve also got some new people coming on board,’ Cook said. ‘Everybody is really excited about the possibilities. It’s an energetic group and everyone steps in and volunteers. It makes it so much more enjoyable.’ Benefits to members, such as the PhotoShop class being held in conjunction with the school system, also will continue. ’We want to find new educational opportunities for our members and the community,’ she said. ‘We’re also open to suggestions from businesses and have an open door policy on requests and ideas. Just let me or Amanda know. We’re there to work for you.’ Her executive committee will be made up of Imberger as vice chair, Rick Klepper as secretary/treasurer and Leverett as past chair. Cook has been employed at Southern Rivers Energy the past four years; she works on publicity and public relations. She transferred here from Canoochee EMC in Reidsville, where she also worked four years. ’My responsibilities keep me out of the office and in the community,’ she said. She grew up in Covington and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in theater. She is no longer active but enjoys keeping tabs on area acting troupes. Cook and her husband Jeff, who is the Extension coordinator for Taylor County, live in Redbone with their daughter Hayden, who is almost 3. They will celebrate their 10th anniversary in May. She plays piano, having taken lessons as a child. Her parents bought her a piano several years ago ‘and I enjoyed playing it when Hayden was a baby. She likes to play with it now.’ The Cooks enjoy traveling, a good thing since they have family in Oxford, Loganville and Suwanee and college friends all over the Atlanta area. There is also a family lake house in Talladega, Ala. ’I grew up water skiing and going to the lake all summer,’ she said. ‘I’m very much looking forward to giving that experience to Hayden.’

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