Henry County Chamber of Commerce Selects New President/CEO

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

The Henry County Chamber of Commerce has named Joseph Henning the new president and chief executive officer of the business organization. He currently serves as president and chief executive officer of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce in Aurora, Illinois, a position he has held since 2005.

Current chamber president and chief executive officer David Gill, who has led the organization since 2012, announced his retirement several months ago and will be working with Henning through the transition process.

“Joe’s expertise and understanding of the important role a chamber plays in the growth and development of a community in terms of leadership, infrastructure and creating an inclusive, pro-business environment are the key reasons the search committee identified him as the right leader for Henry County,” according to Sharon Ponder, 2019 chair of the chamber and vice president of finance for Bennett International Group. “The chamber has a solid foundation that David, the internal team, and our membership have established over the years. The search committee and the board of directors are committed to continuing the long tradition of a strong business-focused organization.”

Henning served as chair of the National Board of Trustees for the US Chamber Institute for Organization Management in 2016-17 and continues as an instructor for classes throughout the country. The Institute is renowned as the leading training program for chamber executives. He is also recognized as the catalyst behind the Aurora Regional Chamber achieving the highest award in the industry with a five-star
accreditation distinction by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2012 and re-affirmed in 2017.

“The Henry County Chamber position is a great opportunity for me to put my skillsets to work in a very fast-paced, growing area,” says Henning. “Georgia is known for its progressive business climate and I look forward to working with the leaders in Henry County, the region and state to build an even stronger chamber. I believe my experiences in Aurora, which is a suburb of Chicago, will match the needs well in Henry County. I look forward to becoming a part of the leadership team in the community.”

During Henning’s realm as president of the Aurora Regional Chamber, the organization became the intermediary for a community-wide workforce development initiative. He also implemented on-boarding programs with multiple access points for new and re-engaging members; initiated a re-branding and re-naming strategy that resulted in increased engagement including website traffic and social media reach; determined membership needs through annual surveys which resulted in engagement growth of attendees and sponsorships over five years.

Prior to serving in Aurora, Henning was chief development officer for Summit Schools, Inc. and director, marketing & business development for Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, both in Elgin, Illinois. He earned a Master of Education, Instructional Technology and Bachelor of Public Relations/Journalism from Northern Illinois University.

In 2014, Henning was named the Outstanding Chamber Executive of Year by the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. He also earned the Accredited Chamber Executive status from the association. Other organizations Henning is associated with include the Illinois 21st Century Workforce Development Fund Advisory Committee, Business Leads Fellowship Program with the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Education Attainment Division Advisory Board of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association.

Members of the chamber’s search committee, in addition to Ponder as chair and Gill, included Christy Chewning, member engagement coordinator, Central Georgia EMC; Josh Duncan, financial advisor, FS Financial; Morelle McCrary, principal, RAM-Tech PC Solutions; Leonard Moreland, chief executive officer, Heritage Bank; Rod Meadows, past chair of the chamber and managing partner of Meadows, Macie and Sutton PC; Wayne Lowery, immediate past chair of the chamber and executive vice president of United Community Bank; and Laura Turner, community development officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.