New Chamber Executive Director Embraces Role

April 2016

By Julia Colborn

April Sneed

April Sneed is the new Executive Director of the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Catherine Davis / SD Portraits

When April Sneed and husband John, recently named UNC Healthcare System Director – Recruitment, were ready to leave their nomadic Air Force life and settle down, they chose Rolesville.

Sneed made herself at home, enjoying a location that was near both of their families and reminded Sneed of her native Pulaski, Va. Within a year she was volunteering for the Chamber of Commerce. Nine years of volunteering later, she took on a new role, filling the executive director position previously held by Jenny Rowe.

Her transition to employee on January 4, 2016, provided a new perspective.

“It has reiterated to me the importance of volunteers,” said Sneed, who earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Virginia Tech before exploring other territory, such as Florida and Washington, D.C.

Until taking the Chamber job, Sneed worked for six years at Granite Falls Athletic Club. She said she did whatever needed to be done from front desk administrator to manager on duty to membership director. She said she had applied to a different position at the facility, but when Rowe retired at the end of December, the Chamber decided to offer Sneed the position. She gladly accepted the busy role.

“Every day is full,” Sneed said. “There’s not a minute to spare.”

One of her immediate goals is a sort of housekeeping. Sneed and her team of volunteers are reconnecting with existing members, updating their contact information and removing inactive members. While doing this housekeeping, she is turning unwritten rules and verbalized modes of operation into policies with guidelines. Not much needs to be changed, she said, other than just “putting on paper what needs to be written down.”

Sneed also has long-term goals. To increase membership naturally is the priority, but she also is working to connect the community with local businesses and to connect business leaders with each other. Between utilizing social media and becoming an active presence in the community, the Chamber can help bridge the gap between individuals and business entities. This not only will help bring people together but keep resources local and Rolesville thriving.

Her other main goal for the Chamber, and the town, is a little more personal. Sneed is a mother of two boys, Joshua, 10 and Wesley, 13. She not only “looks forward to their success” but also wants to see that success in other youths in the community.

“I will be able to focus on this goal once my feet are good and wet,” said Sneed, who plans to have the Chamber connect with young entrepreneurs to help cultivate those individual goals.

During the three months that she’s been in the executive director position, Sneed has enhanced the community connection. She has not only worked to answer any questions members have – such as how to generate more business – but also has increased their interest in the Chamber.

“Hopefully, the rest of this year will bring a change … with new, different, exciting things for our members,” she said.