The Kentucky Lake Chamber of Commerce announced over the weekend that it has hired Mitchell Ponder as the new Chamber Director. This comes after 17 year Chamber employee, Debbie Buchanan an- noun-ced her resignation in June.

In her resignation, Buchanan said, “It was never going to be an easy decision for me to leave the Chamber because I have absolutely loved being ‘The Chamber Lady’ here at the Marshall County/Kentucky Lake Chamber and am so grateful for the rewarding employment and community involvement this position has brought me for almost 18 years now.”

“I cannot say enough wonderful things about all the people I have interacted with during my years of service,” she added. “I have truly enjoyed working for the Chamber and greatly appreciate the strong support that has been shown to me all these years, by those of you in this community and those who have served on the Board of Directors.

“It did however, become apparent to me after COVID-19 hit, with all the changes that have taken place and are taking place, that it was really an opportune time for me at this point in my life to slip out of full time employment, slip into something more part time, and try something new,” Buchanan said. “I also realized it was an even greater opportunity for the Kentucky Lake Chamber to emerge in this new economy, stronger with new enthusiasm and new energy, but under new leadership, so I hope this community will embrace Mitchell and really support his and the Chamber’s efforts going forward . I can’t wait to see what new heights this organization rises to under his leadership and wish it nothing but the best!”

Ponder is a graduate of Murray State University with a magna cum laude honors degree in political science and advertising. He has previously been employed with the City of Colombia in Tennessee and more recently with the Madisonville Office for U.S. Congressman James Comer.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to be an advocate and resource for the businesses of the Kenlake region,” Ponder said of accepting the position. “Now more than ever, local businesses need people who support them in the community, and I’m glad I get the chance to do that.”

The Kentucky Lake Chamber of Commerce promotes economic growth and advocacy for businesses of every size and sector in Marshall County and the Kentucky Lake region. The mission of the Kentucky Lake Chamber of Commerce is to strengthen partnerships, promote business, community development and tourism while striving to improve the overall quality of life in our community.