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Key official leaves chamber
Dill heading for private sector
Dill Brian
Brian Dill - photo by Submitted
After years of bringing businesses to Forsyth, Brian Dill is going to see how the other half lives.

Dill joined the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce nearly five years ago as the vice president of economic development.

Since then, he has helped recruit dozens of businesses to the county, bringing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in capital investments.

In a month, Dill will step down from his role with the chamber, turning his attention to just one company, Claro Chemical Corp.

“It has not only been a fun job, but a very fulfilling job, knowing that we were helping as a group, as a team, this community to grow,” Dill said of his work with the chamber.

Dill will become the chief operating officer for the chemical company, which will produce and distribute environmentally safe chemicals.

“The more I did my homework with the company, the more of an opportunity it seemed to present for me ... to experience some of the things I was helping other companies do in terms of growth,” he said.

Having worked in economic development for more than a decade, Dill said he’s well prepared for his new position, albeit a little “out of my comfort zone.”

“But I think it’s in a good way,” he said. “It led me to a career transition that allows me to continue to be in this community.”

James McCoy, president and chief executive officer of the chamber, said the organization wants to identify a candidate to replace Dill by June 1.

The search will be handled by the Chason Group, which brought Dill to the chamber.

McCoy said Dill’s shoes will be tough to fill.

“He is this community’s first economic developer,” McCoy said. “We never had anyone that got up every day thinking of economic development.

“He took a blank slate working with our community partners and created a department within the chamber dedicated to that purpose, and he really did an incredible job.”

Dill’s most recent work has been in partnership with county commissioners and employees to create a recruitment strategy, implemented last month.

The plan is in action, Dill said, and its progress won’t stop with his departure.

“There will be a transition period,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be as major as some folks might think ... they will find somebody very good that has experience in both local and state development without any problems.”

Because Dill laid the groundwork for recruiting businesses, McCoy said the role for his replacement likely would be altered.

The new position will go to someone with a “whole new fresh perspective and a new set of skills and talents.”

“It’s our understanding that there are a lot of great economic developers out there that are looking to make a move,” McCoy said. “Forsyth County’s reputation, as well as our economy, are extremely attractive attributes for people doing economic development work.”

Dill said he’s excited about working in the private sector, though he will miss his work in community economic development.

“There is some sadness and trepidation,” he said. “It’s a feel-good job because there aren’t any two projects alike. It’s engaging and it’s something I loved to do.

“So yeah, I will miss it, but I’m hopeful that the doors the new position opens will ... keep me in the community and engaged in the process as a stakeholder. I look forward to really being on the other side of the fence.”