Vice President of Talent Initiatives - Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce

The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce seeks a highly collaborative, innovative problem-solver with the experience, skills and educational background required to design and implement creative solutions to the talent recruitment, development and retention issues facing employers in this rapidly growing region. The successful candidate must have practical understanding from the employer perspective of skills required in a wide variety of careers, grasp of the skills gaps that currently exist and an entrepreneurial approach in adapting to rapidly changing technical requirements of work. Key skills include adaptive excellence, analytical thinking, innovative/creative thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, consensus building and political savvy.

Key functions include:

  • Formulate the Chamber’s talent strategies for the strategic plan, annual business plan and for the foundation campaign.
  • Conduct research and provide information, analysis and performance reports in support of innovative program recommendations to Chamber boards, committees and task forces.
  • Cultivate collaborative relationships with stakeholders in the business and education communities to identify and implement strategies to align talent recruitment and development programming with business community strategies and needs.
  • Build a collaborative talent pipeline model that addresses recruiting, developing and assimilating talent in the healthcare sector and can be replicated in other high-demand industries.
  • Develop marketing strategies and business development plans to expand and increase awareness and penetration of programs and services to businesses in target industries and individuals.
  • Form and execute a talent recruitment and talent assimilation (supporting trailing family members) concierge program to assist companies with hiring of top executives.
  • Develop and implement a monitoring and reporting system by which to evaluate the effectiveness of the Chamber’s education, leadership development, talent recruitment and development efforts.
  • Monitor external business, legislative and educational environments to identify emerging business, education and policy issues in order to build and modify relationships to effect positive change.
  • Work collaboratively with key foundations, non-profits and other partners to build solutions.


  • A minimum of 7 years prior experience in higher education, human resources, business associations, entrepreneurial startups or other roles.
  • Demonstrated ability to champion systemic change, build coalitions, influence stakeholders, and manage staff and volunteers to accomplish goals.
  • Skilled in adapting to rapid technological change, tolerating acceptable risk, generating creative solutions, and building consensus.
  • A firm grasp of core business competencies including building strategic plans, accomplishing goals through managing others and managing to budgetary constraints is required.
  • Prior experience in the Chamber industry or other business association, volunteer boards and managing volunteer-driven initiatives is highly beneficial.

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with a major in business, education, psychology, human resources, public policy, public administration or related disciplines required. Advanced degree a plus.
Must be legally eligible to work in the U.S., eligible to obtain a U.S. passport, hold a valid driver’s license and be insurable.

Candidates for this position will be evaluated by Senior Staff and an advisory committee consisting of a small group of volunteer leaders. The most qualified individuals will be invited to participate in the next phase of the selection process. For consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume and references, combined into one .pdf document, no later than April 22, 2018.

Send confidential cover letter and resume, combined into one .pdf file to:

Christy Gillenwater, President & CEO

Information only inquiries, contact:

Cheryl Millsaps, VP of Finance & Administration
(423) 763-4344

The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce was established in 1887 and is a 501(c)(6) that serves more than 1,800 member companies with a mission to champion member businesses and promote regional economic growth. The Chattanooga Chamber Foundation, an independent but related 501(c)(3), was chartered in 1969, to promote community and economic development and is recognized for its lead role in the area’s recruitment and job creation successes. The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Chattanooga Chamber Foundation are collectively known as “the Chamber” and are engaged in close and productive partnerships with local government, philanthropic, and corporate entities.

The City of Chattanooga, located in Southeast Tennessee near the corners of Georgia and Alabama, is the economic engine driving the economy of a 545,000 person MSA incorporating portions of six counties. Chattanooga, the fourth largest city in Tennessee with a population of 174,000 persons, is the seat of Hamilton County, which has a growing population of more than 350,000. Chattanooga-Hamilton County is centrally located among the cities of Nashville, TN, to the northwest, Knoxville, TN, to the northeast, Atlanta, GA, to the southeast and Birmingham, AL, to the southwest, and is bisected by three major interstate highways, making the area a gateway for logistics and freight movement throughout the southeastern United States.

Chattanooga is the heart of a vibrant and growing regional economy linked to manufacturing, technology, retail and professional services. The Chattanooga economy includes the headquarters of major insurance, trucking, food and beverage, and manufacturing operations as well as a strong tourism sector. Chattanooga is also a logistics and communications hub with excellent rail, river, and highway connectivity, as well as America’s fastest broadband access with availability of 10 gigabit Internet speeds to every home and business in a 600 square mile area delivered by EPB, the Chattanooga power distributor, using the fiber optic network as the backbone for the most automated and interactive smart grid in the country.

A focus on protecting the natural environment, close proximity of mountains and the Tennessee River to the downtown area and mild seasonal weather make Chattanooga a natural center of tourism and active outdoor living. As a result, Chattanooga now enjoys a quality of life and economic vitality that national publications ranging from Outside magazine to Industry Week have rated among the best in America.