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home : news : news January 19, 2019

12/4/2018 4:17:00 PM
Lincolnton - Lincoln County Chamber Names CEO

Lincolnton - Lincoln Couinty Chamber
Press Release

LINCOLNTON, N.C. - The Lincolnton – Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of Doug Croft as President. Croft, a veteran of the Chamber of Commerce industry, is currently President of the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce in Weslaco, Texas. Prior to his time in Texas, Doug spent 27 years as President of the Thomasville, North Carolina, Chamber of Commerce. Croft will begin his duties with the Lincoln County business organization in early January 2019. The Ewart Group of Spartanburg, S.C., served as consultant to the search process.

Doug was born into the Chamber of Commerce business. His father was a long-time Chamber executive in several states. Doug is very proud of the fact that he has followed in his father’s footsteps for 30+ years.

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In Weslaco, Doug managed a four-person team and a $557,000 budget focused on small business services, destination marketing, visitor center operations, and major community events. While with the Weslaco Chamber, Doug modernized outdated internal operations and policies. He doubled the number of small business workshops and broadened the subject material, while generating a much larger attendance at events. He increased destination marketing income, transitioned 23% of destination marketing to digital, and generated destination marketing exposures/impressions totaling over 100,000,000.

Croft’s accomplishments in Thomasville were numerous. He managed a community visioning & strategic planning process which engaged over 700 citizens and produced 32 strategies for the community’s future. Doug was charged with implementing the community strategic plan and in the first three years, 72% of strategies were completed or underway. He led the community team that achieved the 2013 All-America City award. Doug wrote the application, raised $77,000, recruited the presentation team, wrote the presentation script and coached the presenters. The All-America City program then used five Thomasville examples in its national marketing manual. Also, for the past five years, Doug has been a mentor/volunteer for the All-America City Award program and has spent the last two years as national “volunteer coordinator.”

A long-time Rotarian, Doug has served on countless committees and boards. He served as President of the Thomasville Rotary Club in 1999 - 2000. During that year, the Thomasville Rotary Club launched and completed what was then one of the biggest projects in the club’s history. They launched an initiative to become a 100% Paul Harris Fellow club. It took four years to reach that milestone and he was proud to have initiated that successful project. Doug was honored with a Paul Harris Fellow made from contributions of club members. Doug was also the Founder of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Professionally, Doug Croft has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Membership Executives of the Carolinas, North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events, the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (two terms), and as President of the Piedmont Triad Chambers Group.

Eddie Sigmon, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Lincolnton – Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce said the search process proved to be invaluable. “It allowed us to look at some of the top talent from throughout the southeast”, stated Sigmon. “We are extremely pleased that Doug will become a part of the Lincoln County community. He is an outstanding individual and will easily assimilate into our community.” Jeremy Love, Chairman - elect of the Chamber remarked, “Doug Croft will bring much talent, experience, and enthusiasm to our organization. We look forward to working with him in the months and years to come.”

Croft, a 1983 graduate of Western Carolina University, began his working career as a District Executive with the Boy Scouts in Lincolnton. “I look forward to joining the team in Lincoln County”, stated Croft. “The community has changed a lot since my time there in the mid 1980’s. New business parks with new jobs, along with exploding growth to the east, validate that Lincoln County is a great place to live and work. I’ve been very impressed by the leadership of the community and am excited to be part of the dynamic future.”

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