Inevitable. The decision to move home was coming sooner or later for Paige Green Hutto. The recently married President/CEO of Gilmer Chamber said she knew when she got married that she eventually wanted to move home to Alabama with her husband and family.
“Family” is more than just the husband and kids. It is parents, too. Hutto’s mother and father live in Alabama as well. Going home to that much was most definitely a major part of the decision.
Yet, it wasn’t something that she has worried about and fretted over. It was a feeling that she was waiting for, a sense of “the right time.” She explains that she wasn’t looking for a sign. Instead, she knew that when the time came, she would feel it and understand in her heart that the time had come.
She wasn’t going to abandon her friends, Chamber members, and colleagues in such a rough time period with so much facing them amidst the uncertainties of the virus.
And so she worked through the time until a few weeks ago. Hutto said, “I just realized that it would be selfish of me to stay because I could not give 150 percent like I always had.”
With a divided heart between two towns and a divided schedule as well, Hutto said the community deserved better. It was a Friday that she finally decided. That Monday, she shared her decision.
She also stated that as she made her decision to go home, she was prepared that it wasn’t a quick change. She shared her decision and her resignation openly ready to stay on for the transition if the Chamber Board asked.
And they did.
Hutto is still in Ellijay, for now. She is still leading the Chamber, for now. It is the last responsibility she is taking on as Gilmer’s Chamber President. Transitioning to a new leader, a new President.
The process, she estimates, should take about 90 days to find that replacement, with only a few days of overlap as she hands things off to the Chamber’s new leader.
Looking at the next chapter, there isn’t exactly a lit path ahead for her. She said going home and being with family is the main focus. As for continuing in the tourism business, she said it would take the right opportunity to come along to return to the industry. Gilmer is a special place and Hutto said she has loved it here.
“I’m really looking forward to finishing out my time in Ellijay. I’m really focused on that,” said Hutto.
To accomplish that, she is working through the issues of the day as the Chamber handles all of the details of the recently cancelled Apple Festival. However, a lot of work will also involve transferring her knowledge and the accumulation of the years. Getting the staff ready and the office ready for the coming adventures.
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GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – FYN has learned today that Gilmer Chamber President and CEO Paige Green has officially tendered her resignation to the Board of Directors.
Green has worked in Gilmer’s Chamber for over 12 years and has worked in tourism for even longer since becoming Tourism Director in Eufaula, Alabama.
According to a release given to FYN since the announcement, Green is returning to her home-state for family including both her husband and parents. Her parents have always played a major part in her life. Hutto explained as much in a featured interview with FYN as she celebrated her 10-year anniversary with the Chamber.
Now, returning to her home state, coworkers are already beginning to speak about the loss that will be felt. However, Hutto will remain with the Chamber for the foreseeable future as the Board of Directors pairs with the Chason Group to find a replacement.
The full press release follows:
Following almost 12 years of service in which she helped build the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce to over 630 members, President and CEO Paige Green Hutto has submitted her resignation to the Board of Directors.
Hutto is making the change to join her new husband in Alabama and take the next step in her life with her new family.
“My love for this community and organization is only usurped by the love of my new husband and family in Alabama and it is time for that life to be whole,” she said. “It is because of that love that I tender my resignation with bittersweet feelings and a somewhat heavy heart.”
In her time at the Chamber, Hutto has presided over a period of exponential tourism growth in Gilmer County and an almost doubling of the organization’s membership. Her leadership has also been instrumental in the formation of the JDA, the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation and CORE- which grew out of a chamber-led trip to a business incubator in Carrollton.
“I hope above all that I will be remembered as someone who gave 100 percent and loved this community and organization and always worked for the betterment of both,” said Hutto.
Board Chair Chris Wang said Hutto will be missed.
“The Gilmer Chamber Board of Directors could not be more thankful of the extraordinary job President Paige Green Hutto has done these last 12 years,” he said. “Every chairperson has been able to walk in to a stronger organization year after year because of the tireless effort she contributed to this Chamber. Personally, Paige is one of the smartest and wisest leaders I have ever worked with. She will be missed greatly by this community and by those who worked beside her.”
Gilmer Chamber’s Board of Directors will work with The Chason Group to conduct a thorough executive search for the next leader of the organization. Hutto has agreed to remain during the search to enable a smooth transition.
“The incoming president not only has fashionable shoes to fill, but a highly competent mind to match. We wish nothing but the absolute best for Paige during this next chapter of her life,” said Wang.