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Bunch taking on new role with Chamber

Vicki Bunch said working at The Greater Jackson Chamber is like being a part of a second family, and she figured that out a couple years ago when she took a job outside the Chamber and returned about a year later.

“I left for a job with the Southwest Tennessee Workforce Board, and really gained a wealth of knowledge I didn’t have before I went there,” Bunch said. “But when the opportunity presented itself to return to the Chamber, I couldn’t pass it up.”

She worked at the Chamber in workforce development in both stints with the organizations, and the Chamber announced last week Bunch’s promotion to Chief Workforce Development Officer.

“It’s pretty similar to what I was doing already, but I’ll be a part of the executive team that [Chamber President Kyle Spurgeon] has put together, so I’m honored to be a part of that conversation,” Bunch said.

“Vicki Bunch is one of the most experienced and respected workforce development professionals in the state of Tennessee,” Spurgeon said in a statement. “I look forward to Vicki taking an even larger role in the leadership of the Greater Jackson Chamber team.”

While the leadership programs directed by Lauren Saliba will also be a part of Bunch’s job description in her new role, she said Saliba will continue to operate Leadership Jackson and Leadership University the way she already was.

“She and I have already had conversations about different things that can be done with both programs, but Lauren did so great in her first year in that role, that I’m here if she needs anything from me,” Bunch said. “But we’ve had so many community leaders go through that program over the years and learn so much about Jackson and Madison County, that it’s something we’re able to utilize to bring emerging leaders into the conversations to improve the area for everyone – those living here already and new people we want to recruit to live here.”

Recruiting people to live in Jackson has become a primary focus of the Chamber over the last year-and-a-half since the announcement of Blue Oval City coming to neighboring Haywood County in 2021.

While Bunch’s influence is more on making sure the workforce in the area is prepared for the jobs with Ford and SK Innovations and other manufacturers, she’s glad to have a greater voice in the conversations of recruitment as well.

“Kyle is a great leader in that he doesn’t micromanage and lets everyone do the jobs we were hired to do,” Bunch said. “And when he asks you your opinion on something, he legitimately values what you bring to the conversation.

“So I’m looking forward to being in that conversation and doing what I can to make the greater Jackson area a better place to live, work and play.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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