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Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Trey Gainous has announced his plans to resign his position and return to work for a former employer.
Gainous, who has served as the chamber director since July 2018, has accepted a position as field engineer with Grady E.M.C., where he previously worked a decade ago.
Gainous says, “To close one chapter in my life’s book and open another has always been met with exorbitant amounts of excitement and wonder. It was not until the closing of this chapter that I found myself with a head full of doubt, sadness, and even a touch of uncertainty. Leaving the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce was inevitable, for sure, as you always need fresh, new blood in positions like mine. I can say that during my time as executive director, I have learned a great deal about this amazing community and the people who live here.”
Gainous says when he was hired he was recruited to be a cheerleader for the community and the chamber members. “I met that charge with an ‘Oh yeah, I can do this!’ You see, I love this community and the people in it and so this task seemed, at worst, a lot of fun. Cairo, Whigham, and Grady County has always been my home and I was more than honored to be able to show everyone else the greatness that I saw and what we have to offer,” he said.
Looking back on his tenure, Gainous says he is proud of the unconventional approach he took in marketing the community and local businesses.
“Many of you have seen some of our silly videos or posts about things going on in our community. The live Facebook videos have allowed us to show the pride and joy we have for Cairo and Grady County,” he added.
The chamber director said he believes his “crowning achievement” has been making the local business community “excited again.”
Gainous says it will not be easy to leave, but he remains hopeful the community will continue to pull together as it, the state, nation and world face the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have proven time and time again that we are stronger together and we will make it through the seemingly wavering days ahead. I ask that you continue to support the Chamber, our local businesses, and what we stand for. Grady County, we are headed in the right direction with no signs of slowing down. Let us all keep this momentum going and continue to push forward with our journey. I will still be around and involved in every possible way that I can,” he said.
Gainous said he had planned for his last day on the job to be May 10, but with the recent cancellation of the Great Southern Antique Car Rally and the uncertainty revolving around the pandemic, that day could come sooner.
Gainous was the first male to lead the chamber in the past half century.
Turnover in the top leadership position with the chamber has become the norm rather than the exception in recent years. Gainous served just shy of two years. He followed Sara Heady who held the job less than a year and she followed Jenny Law who had a two year tenure in the position.