ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — It’s been almost nine years since Sandy Williams moved from Mississippi to the City of Flowing Wells.
She lost her first husband to pancreatic cancer and came to Elba to be near family.
“I grew up in a small town and I think that’s what makes me have such a passion and such a love for small towns,” Williams said.
Two years ago she remarried and today she’s a one-woman show at work.
Williams serves as the city’s Chamber of Commerce, Main Street and tourism director.
“It can get overwhelming at certain points, but that’s when I make a list and go okay let me make sure I get this done.”
The Magee, Mississippi, native got her bachelor’s at Southern Mississippi and master’s at Ole Miss before starting a career in broadcasting, education and tourism.
Williams was one of Mississippi’s 50 leading businesswomen in 2002.
“You have to always be learning and always be trying to achieve and keep up with what’s going on.”
In her time in Alabama, she’s helped Elba become a designated Main Street community and an Alabama Community of Excellence.
She recently became an Accredited Chamber of Commerce Executive.
“I heard someone say the other day that they’ve been in the chamber world for 20 years and they’ve not achieved that goal because there are a lot of steps and things you have to do. I’m very proud of that.”
This year Williams was named to Alabama’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and this month she is featured in Business Alabama Magazine.
With plenty of experience under her belt, Williams wants to take Elba to new heights.
“We always love keeping our small-town charm, but we have to have jobs and good employment opportunities for our residents. I urge everyone to shop local.”
While Williams is the only official employee at the chamber…she has a board of 15 members and several volunteers nearby.
“That’s the great thing about a small community. I can reach out and call on just about anybody and they’ll jump in and volunteer.”
Two years ago the chamber’s historic building burned down.
She’s working with the city to get them a new location on the town square.
Right now, she’s using a photography studio as her office.
“A chamber is more than a building. It’s the people. it’s our heart. It’s how we work and how we care.”