Tipton: No decision made on filling Terhune's job at chamber

STEVE NASH steve.nash@brownwoodbulletin.com
Ray Tipton has been serving as interim executive director of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce since Laura Terhune's resignation last month. Tipton, pictured in his office at the chamber, is retaining most of the duties he held as director of business development and marketing, the job he was hired to do in December 2009. The chamber's board has not made a decision on whether to fill the executive director's chair by hiring from within or taking outside resumes, Tipton said.

Ray Tipton doesn't know how long he'll have the title of interim executive director of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, and doesn't know if he will get to lose the "interim" designation and keep the job.

"I wouldn't hate it," Tipton said, flashing a big smile when asked if he hopes the chamber's board of directors will chose him to fill the vacancy.

Tipton has been serving as interim executive director since Laura Terhune resigned in February to take a job with the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce.

Tipton, a 1989 graduate of Brownwood High School and a Howard Payne University graduate, started working for the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce in December 2009 as director of development and marketing. He said he's retained most of those duties while working as interim executive director.

The chamber's board has appointed a committee to determine whether to hire from within or accept outside resumes to fill the vacancy, Tipton said.

Tipton graduated from HPU with a psychology degree, and he nearly ended up with a second major, in chemistry. He also got interested in business, and opened a business called TNT Comics.

Tipton sold that business to his parents in 1999 and transitioned into an online journalism job for the toy industry. Then, his wife, Lisa, went into real estate and got him interested.

Both Tiptons worked for Coldwell Banker real estate office in Brownwood. Ray Tipton's work with brownwoodnews.com, which he started in the summer of 2009, attracted the attention of Terhune, who was then the chamber's executive director. Terhune asked Tipton to come to work at the chamber.

In other chamber events: 

The chamber will focus Downtown Brownwood at its monthly luncheon Friday, the chamber announced on its website.

Presentations will feature the Lyric Theatre, the upcoming Fisk Street construction project, an update on the new Brownwood Central Fire station and the Brown County Museum of History.

Residents and business owners will learn the coming plans for each of these topics and how they will impact the community and local businesses.

The luncheon will be held at the Brownwood Country Club from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost of the luncheon is $12 per person to be paid at the door. Anyone interested in attending is urged to RSVP to the Chamber by calling 325-646-9535. Attendees can also register online on the Chamber’s website: www.brownwoodchamber.org.