The Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce organized as the Greater Cleveland Business Association, Inc. developed out of discussions between County Commissioner Cookie Pope, then area banker Jackie Anderson and local businessperson Deirdre Jersey.
The group held its first Business After Hours in September 1998 at First Citizens Bank. Approximately 45 guests attended. The organization incorporated in July 2000.
Initial funding sources included membership dues and the generous gifts of cash and in-kind services from Founding Members Deirdre Jersey (Public Images/Meeting Details), Dr. Bruce Schneider (Schneider Chiropractic), Jackie Anderson (First Citizens Bank), Tracey Jackson (Wachovia), Barbara Sampson (Met Life), Scott Johnson (Mast, Schulz, Mast, Mills & Stem), and John "Sonny" Johnson, (Son-Lan Development Corp.).
The GCCC received excellent support from the local community newspaper and members Aaron Pryor and John Cate, reporters/editors at the Cleveland Post. At about the same time, local business owners David and Jacqueline Lippard, Applied Communications, Inc., developed their community website 4042.com which helped promote the presence of the chamber.
The Chamber operated with volunteer services from members and the Board of Directors from its inception until July 1999 when Deirdre Jersey offered to house the chamber's office in Willow Spring. By mid-2001, the membership and issues had grown to require hiring dedicated staff. In January 2002, Jackie Radley was hired as Executive Director on a 30-hour per week basis. At the end of February 2002 because of Radley's efforts, the chamber opened an office at Peddler's Village on Highway 42. An official sign was hung outside July 2002.
The first Board of Directors included the Executive Committee - Jersey as President, Radley (nee Anderson), Vice President, Tracy Jackson, Treasurer, and Scott Johnson, Secretary. Directors were Barbara Sampson, Dr. Bruce Schneider, Peggy Bjorling, and Brian Smith.
Accomplishments in 1998-1999 Top of Page
- Registered 38 paid charter members
- Held monthly Business After Hours meetings at member businesses
- Established a mailing address
- Participated in an area food drive
- Initiated a monthly newsletter
- Member Scott Waterhouse created the Chamber logo
- Hosted two Lunch & Learn Programs: Marketing and Working with Professionals
- Joined the Johnston County Association of Chambers
- Took opposition to an incorporation proposal for the 40/42 business area
- Initiated a "Building Business Incentive Program" to commence in 2000.
- Represented business interests at Old Cleveland School Redevelopment meetings
- Hosted County Sheriff Steve Bizzell at a community forum on security
- Referred callers to area businesses, with members given first consideration
- Conducted a Spring Raffle and made contributions to Cleveland and McGee's Crossroads Elementary Schools
- Hosted a Community Red Cross Blood Drive
- Won First Prize with a float in the Celebrate Cleveland Parade
- Organized a "Stay Alert Drivers" Campaign with four area service stations for Labor Day
- Postponed a Fall Festival
- Supported Artists in the Schools through promotions in chamber newsletter
- Helped welcome Hampton Inn to Cleveland at their ribbon cutting ceremony
- Engaged in discussions with county leaders and local business people about an Exit Beautification program
- Worked with County Commissioner Cookie Pope to meet with postal authorities to discuss an alternate place name for mail delivery
- Hosted Annual Meeting Presentation of Founding and Charter Members
- Hosted First Annual Holiday Tree Lighting & Member Social
- Increased membership by 63% to 55
- Conducted first Strategic Planning led by Judy Williams, Johnston Community College
- First Chamber Directory published by Cleveland Post
- Reprinted stationery to reflect new Chamber name
- Hosted Public Meeting to discuss Alternate Place Name
- Continued Beautification Program efforts
- Conducted Membership Drive
- Building Business Incentive Program
- Hosted Spring Magic Show with Michael Creech at Cleveland Middle School
- First Annual Spring Family Festival - Arts & Crafts Festival
- Old Cleveland School Redevelopment Committee
- Johnston County Association of Chambers Marketing Program
- Supported Relay for Learning, Cleveland Athletic Association, Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department, Artists in the Schools
- Help new businesses with their grand opening programs
- Radley and Jersey participated in Leadership Johnston, a year-long county-wide program to enable community residents and business people to better understand county services
- Hosted community survey for Alternate Place Name
- Holiday Tree Lighting and rained out parade
Outstanding contributors during the year included Karla Werner, Frank Werner, Kelly Jones, Melissa Oliver (nee Perry), Linwood Jones, Dr. Bruce Schneider, Rex Mayor, Mark Radley, Deirdre Jersey, Jackie Radley, Ira Jersey, Carole Modlin, Mark Jones, Durwood Stephenson, Scott Johnson and Lynne Loving.
- Maintain membership of 55
- 501C6 Status Approved by NC Department of Revenue
- Spring Family Festival Focused on Safety Issues
- Statue of Liberty Float at Celebrate Cleveland
- Hosted two Safety seminars - one with Sheriff Bizzell - one with Deputy Ron Mazur
- New Members Luncheon
- Sponsored Flame of Learning Award for Johnston County teachers
Outstanding contributors during the year included Doris & Fred Huebner, Karla Werner, Dr. Bruce Schneider, Deirdre Jersey, Jackie Radley, Sima Patel
- January 7th - Executive Director Jackie Radley starts work and opened an office @ Peddler's Village
- Increased membership to 100 members
- Strategic Planning Session
- Website Designed by Applied Communications; hosted by 4042.com
- Cleveland Post hosts 2002 Directory of Members
- Policies & Procedures Guide Completed
- By-Laws Filed
- 501C6 Application Approved with IRS
- Executive Director attends first year of US Chamber of Commerce Institute
- Liberty Bell Float and Tribute to Service Men at Celebrate Cleveland
- Informal Community Survey to determine name preference
- Discussions with postal service about concluding Alternate Place Name matter
- Strawberry Festival (previously Spring Family Festival) included arts & crafts, car show and carnival
- Meet the President and President-Elect Luncheon
1st annual Golf Tournament and continued with our Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at First Citizens Bank.
Outstanding contributors included:
Ricky Lee, Paula Russell, Leana McDonald, Beverly Crumpler, Dr. Bruce Schneider, Deirdre Jersey, Ira Jersey, Mark Radley, Lindsey Anderson, Joe Sample, Jacqueline and Dave Lippard, Lance Wheeler PharmD, Becky Selvek, Sarah Smith, Durwood Stephenson, John Cate, Jackie Radley, Clayton Chamber of Commerce and Angier Chamber of Commerce.