Somerset — The new executive director of Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce believes this community is on the brink of rapid growth.
“I think Somerset is on the verge of a Renaissance. I think business here has an opportunity to explode and I want to be a part of that explosion,” said Bobby Clue, who began his new duties Monday as director of day-by-day activities of the chamber of commerce.
Clue is “one of us.” The native of Nancy has spent most of his adult life in Lexington but his kinfolk and heart are in Pulaski County. “I like to think of this as a homecoming for me. I thought I’d never have a greater opportunity to come back home and be near my parents. My family is here.”
The new executive director is aware of the historical successes of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.
“We already have a great chamber of commerce. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. My job is to make (the chamber) better. My goal is to take it to the next level. I want it to be one of the best in the state,” said Clue.
“I believe the key is to show the value of chamber membership,” he said. “More than likely no business is the only one doing that type of business in a community. I believe chamber membership gives them a competitive edge.” The chamber currently has about 550 members.
The new executive director is no novice in chamber matters. He has been associated with both Commerce Lexington and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. Clue’s career up to now has involved him in both the public and private sectors in research, public relations and communication. He most recently worked with Steptoe & Johnson, an energy focused international law firm headquartered in West Virginia with offices in Lexington.
“I did governmental affairs work in Kentucky,” said Clue. His job kept him in touch with Congressman Hal Rogers’ office, a contact that eventually led Clue to the Somerset chamber position.
“The job really came to me,” said Clue. “I was talking with Chris Girdler (Congressman Rogers’ deputy district director) and Chris said “ … that chamber job is something you would be interested in.”
Chamber brass seem thrilled to have Clue as its executive director.
“We’re really excited about having Bobby,” said Mike Chandler, president of the chamber. “We’ve spent a lot of time and effort to be sure we got the right person. We feel (with Clue) the chamber can really start making a difference in the community. With Bobby we can move to the next level.”
Clue said he will immediately begin work to strengthen ties among the chamber and Somerset-Pulaski County Development Foundation, Somerset-Pulaski Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Somerset Development Corporation and other community development organizations.
“I’m chairman and CEO of the “get-along gang,” he laughed.