Pocahontas Resident Named Chamber & SMART Center Director

Elaine McNamara

Greenville University and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce have announced the hiring of a joint director for the Chamber and the university’s SMART Center.

Elaine McNamara of Pocahontas has begun work. As director of both entities, she will enhance the growth partnership between the small university and small town, and between students and business owners.

SMART offers professional and technical assistance to grow local companies and encourage business start-ups.

Chamber President Randy Alderman believes having the joint employee will help the Chamber better serve the community and its members. He is pleased to have McNamara on board.

Alderman told WGEL a great committee interviewed several candidates. He said McNamara is already on the job and brings with her a great deal of experience. He said the addition of McNamara will bring stability to the role that has been lacking in recent years.

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McNamara told us she grew up in Farmington, MO and attended Mizzou. She’s lived in Illinois for 22 years, having lived previously in Alton, Collinsville, and Highland. She now lives near Pocahontas.

McNamara has an art degree and was a graphic artist for several year. She has done web design and was a small business owner.

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She is ready for the new challenge. She’s excited about possibilities for both the Chamber and SMART Center. She’ll be visiting businesses soon.

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The SMART Center is in the former Masonic Building on the downtown square.

For now the Chamber office remains in the Bradford Community Building.

According to the university, the SMART Center space will be used by 6 to 10 local businesses immediately following renovations. It is hoped to be open in the spring.

Mike Aden, Center project manager, estimates the initiative could generate 80 jobs over the next five years.

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