In focus: Catherine Glover

New boss overseeing challenges of state chamber changes

There has been change at the chamber.

During the past few months, the Nashville-based Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry has installed new leadership and, not surprisingly, speculation centers upon the direction in which that leadership will take the century-old organization.

Last November, Catherine Glover — previously the vice president for global affairs with Equinox Chemicals in Atlanta and president and CEO of the Albany (Ga.) Area Chamber of Commerce — assumed the title of president and chief executive officer. Deb Woolley, who left the organization in May last year, previously held the title.

Shortly afterward, Glover brought former chamber official Bradley Jackson back to the chamber in an expanded role as vice president of government and community affairs.

A major question then followed: Will the chamber merge with the Tennessee Business Roundtable or not?

“Although the state chamber and the roundtable had some preliminary discussions last fall regarding a possible merger of the two organizations, both groups decided that such discussions were premature,” Glover said. “Our immediate focus with the Business Roundtable and other business organizations across the state is to work together collaboratively to provide a strong and unified voice for business.

“We do think joining together makes sense for many reasons, and we remain committed toward strengthening our partnership,” Glover added.

Merger or not, both organizations have battles looming with the legislature, including taxation, workers compensation and controversial gun proposals that will affect state employers.

No doubt, that business community will be watching and measuring the effectiveness of Glover and her team.