Our guest speaker for the second meeting in May was the Executive Director of the Apex Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Flaherty. Shannon is an Airforce veteran and grew up traveling the world as an “Army Brat”. She has lived in NC for 10 years and moved from Nash County to Apex to take a job with the Apex Chamber of Commerce as the Membership and Operations Manager. After being in this position for 7 months Shannon was fortunate enough to be offered the Executive Director position with the Chamber of Commerce. She loves living in Apex and is a self-proclaimed “proud resident.”
As executive director, Shannon’s main job is to advocate for the business community and she has worked hard to rebuild the Apex Chamber after much turnover over several years. To meet the goal as an advocate for things that are smart for businesses the Chamber helps to provide networking opportunities through activities such as Lunch and Learn classes and providing input and support for any actions that can support new businesses to the area. Though the Chamber makes a point to stay in the middle politically and avoid taking political positions, the chamber does make an exception for things like the bond issue in the recent primary election as it would help support new businesses in the area.
In addition to advocating for the local business community, the Apex Chamber also works hard to give back to the community. Things that Shannon has helped to support since becoming executive director of the Apex Chamber includes hosting a Public Safety Breakfast to say thank you to the first responders in Apex, hosting a Teachers Appreciation Luncheon for all of the Teachers that have been recognized as a teacher of the year for all of the surrounding schools, partnering with the Ronald McDonald House with the annual golf tournament to raise money, and participate in the Bookbag Bonanza program to collect money and school supplies for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students to distribute supplies to children in need.
The Apex Chamber also has the unique situation of being the unofficially official visitor’s center for the town. Being conveniently located in the historic Apex Railroad Depot in downtown, the Chamber always has New Residents stop in and get publications, magazines, and maps of the area.
Shannon closed her program by mentioning how great it is to live in Apex and having a town with the distinction of being voted the #1 small ton in NC. It has been a great thing to promote our area and she looks forward to continuing to promote our community to both businesses and residences going forward.