After just over a year at the Butts County Chamber of Commerce, the organization’s executive director has stepped down.

Catherine Jones’ last day with the chamber was Aug. 16, according to Board Chairman Tim Broyles.

He said Thursday the board’s hiring committee was due to meet that morning to begin the search process for a replacement.

“We’ll be, as soon as possible, getting postings put out and searching for someone to replace her,” he said.

Jones took over the job in July 2018, replacing longtime executive director Melinda McLarnon, who helmed the organization for 22 years.

Jones is a Griffin native who moved to Butts County from Fayetteville seven years ago, and holds a master’s degree in communications and a degree in English from the University of Georgia. She is also a former educator who taught in high schools for more than 30 years in Fayette, Henry, Jasper and Butts counties.

In April, Jones was appointed to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which oversees the certification of the state’s teachers.

Broyles said fellow chamber board members are stepping up to help fill in the gaps since Jones’ departure. He noted the chamber’s office at the Butts County Administration Building is not as frequently used because the building also now serves as the home of Butts County’s Superior Court due to renovations at the historic courthouse.

“The board has done a really good job. We have a lot of new members this year and so we have a lot of folks who have stepped up to help fill in the gaps,” Broyles said. “And right now, the timing of it has kind of worked out, because you can’t access the chamber as frequently because of court being there now.”

Broyles also thanked Jones for her work over the past year.

“We’re very thankful. She helped us get a lot of things progressed over the last year,” he said. “Our bylaws have been cleaned up, and a lot of our foundational things are better established.”

Jones said she enjoyed the experience of leading the chamber, and would be evaluating other ways to remain involved in the community.

“It was such a privilege to serve and I’m very proud of the accomplishments I was able to make in such a short period of time,” she said. “I wish the chamber all the luck in the world in growing our community.”

Managing Editor

Michael Davis has been the editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus since 2010. He previously worked as an editor and reporter for the Henry Daily Herald and Clayton News-Daily.