President & Chief Executive Officer
Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce
Location: Eatonton, Georgia
Industry: Chamber of Commerce
Remaining influential in any industry starts with active and intentional engagement, said Maggie Milner, President and CEO of Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce. “Locally, leading a Chamber of Commerce in a rural but quickly expanding community, supporting the local business industry along with leading efforts to attract tourists, means that I am involved in community development through several outlets, and it all begins with relationships,” Milner said.
Milner said it is her duty to create opportunities that bring people together and allow them to better understand the many roles and resources available. “Active engagement across multiple and diverse interests allows me to remain relevant, ultimately fueling the ability to be a resource to others,” she said.
Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce has a mission of telling the story of the community to promote and support economic prosperity and tourism. The organization’s vision is to be an organization that serves, encourages, and represents the Eatonton-Putnam Community.
Under her leadership, the organization has been actively working to shift the understanding of a Chamber from a membership club to that of a community investment organization. “Our vision is to serve and fairly represent our community,” said Milner. “We aim to learn more of who we are, support that knowledge and reality and expand our potential with an understanding that we are more than meets the eye.”
Milner said the local community has fantastic roots and heritage that are shared in pride on a daily basis. While there is also a significant amount of room for evolution and growth to more accurately reflect modern times, she said she believes she is in this role as part of a bigger picture to fulfill this movement.
“Leading a Chamber, especially in a smaller community, is dependent on someone’s ability to listen, understand, connect, respond and grow,” said Milner. “I believe this is who I am as an individual and professional.”
Leading with patience is her ultimate goal. “With each new role I’ve ever stepped into, it’s always been easy to be eager to implement new ideas and want to see your vision become reality,” said Milner. “However, the lesson always learned is to remember there were people before you and there is always institutional knowledge to gain.”
While launching a rebrand initiative, Milner said she reminded herself to be an active listener. “When you actively listen, you open up the opportunity to be proactive instead of reactive and that act of patience leads to trust and respect,” she said.
I can proudly say that I am one badass dancer and have probably become known as such in our entire town. (I'll make any party lively!)