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Meet RH chamber's executive director

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POSTED: June 29, 2011 10:21 a.m.
Photo by Mark Griffin/

RHBC Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brianne Yontz (far right) stands with Jim and Patty Mathews at a chamber-sponsored Business After Hours event at Firefly Lighting on June 16.

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There’s a new face at the Richmond Hill – Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, and it may be a familiar one to many.

Brianne Yontz, a longtime resident of Richmond Hill, became executive director of the organization on June 6.

Yontz has lived in Richmond Hill for 21 years, along with her husband Mark and daughters Barbara, Jillian, and Hannah.

“I love it. It’s been a great place to raise a family,” Yontz said.

She brings to her position 13 years of experience with the Savannah Area Chamber. Yontz worked as director of communications for her first five years, and headed up the membership department for the last eight.

When RHBC Chamber Chairman Robbie King contacted her regarding the executive director position, Yontz said she had a difficult decision to make.

“I loved my job and the people I worked with at the Savannah chamber, so I had to weigh the pros and cons,” she explained. “Obviously, being closer to home was a huge factor, and the idea of running a chamber was enticing to me … and everyone’s been great, very welcoming.”

The Rockaway Beach, N.Y. native was open about what she hopes to accomplish as chamber director.

“I’m hoping that every time you go into a business in Richmond Hill, they’ll have one of our member decals on them. I really feel that having a proactive, strong, involved, engaged chamber of commerce, which encompasses the entire business community, whether they’re members or not, is vital for any community.”

Working with other local organizations is key, according to Yontz.

“We, the business community, are one of the spokes in the wheel that includes local government, the school system, churches and other organizations. All of those come together and make a great place to live, to work, and to raise a family … if one isn’t functioning, then in my mind it’s a detriment,” she said. “So I’m looking forward to working with all the partners – the business partners, the elected officials, the school board, everybody. I like to think that all of us working together is good for everybody in the end.”

In her free time, Yontz enjoys reading, playing tennis, going to the beach, spending time with family and watching college football. Her favorite team is Ohio State, her alma mater, where she and Mark met.

“I’ve never seen a game in Sanford Stadium, so that’s on the list for this fall. My daughter is at UGA, so I’m looking forward to going to Athens and seeing a game.”

Yontz invites local businesspeople to visit the RHBC Chamber.

“If people are not familiar with what the chamber is, especially if you’re a business person, give us a call, look on our website … we’re here to be the voice of the business community and to foster that growth,” she said. “People want to do business with people that they know and trust, and in my mind, a chamber of commerce is the best way to do that, especially in such a close-knit community.”

 

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