Message from the Executive Director

Tish Haas Williams

For close to 90 years, the Hancock Chamber of Commerce,
has been sticking to our core fundamental values AND igniting change, progress and innovation.
In short, we are building an organization whose success is timeless.

  • The Hancock Chamber of Commerce is the County’s leadership hub, bringing together business, civic and government leaders, working toward common goals. Together, we are making Tourism Everybody’s Business!
  • We’re a vital part of Hancock Tomorrow, a five-year county-wide economic development strategic plan created in 2012, funded by the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. The board identified five priorities in 2013:
    1. Enhance small business development support capacity
    2. Pursue hotel developments
    3. Improve aesthetics of major transportation corridors
    4. Devise incentives for Stennis employees to reside in Hancock County
    5. Develop retail strategies
  • The Chamber also partners with county and state government to promote community development projects like McLeod Water Park enhancements, the Possum Walk Heritage Trail that opened in 2013 outside the front door of INFINITY, the opening of the new Jourdan River Blueway and the creation of the new sports complex that is under development.
  • In Bay St. Louis, the Hancock Chamber supports redevelopment of the beachfront – including the new Harbor opening May 2014 as well as special events and festivals: Pilgrimages, Bay Bridgefest, Crab Fest, St. Rose Heritage Festival, Arts Alive! and the Snowflakes and Sugarplums Festival.
  • In Waveland, we’re on board with development of projects like the Waveland Business Center and promoting WaveFest.
  • In the Kiln, the Hancock Chamber’s Kiln Business Council supports private enterprise and nonprofits through events like First Fridays at Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company and the McLeod Park Fishing Tournament.
  • In Diamondhead, the Chamber’s Diamondhead Business and Professional Association is working with government to make the state’s newest city one of the most prosperous by promoting events like the Holiday Merchants Fair and making the Diamondhead Arts and Crafts festival a top Hancock event.
  • The Chamber’s Greenways & By- ways Committee is bringing together partners like the City of Bay St. Louis, Hancock County, NASA, INFINITY, MDOT and MDA to make the most of the new award-winning Scenic Byways system. The Coast’s only beach front scenic byways system, with over 43 miles of roads, was recently awarded prestigious Community Economic Development Award by the Mississippi Economic Development Council. In 2014 the Beach Blvd. Scenic Byway will extend across the Bay Bride into Harrison County.
  • Bay BridgeFest – established in 2007 and produced by the Hancock Chamber – was recognized with two major state and regional tourism awards in 2012 – in addition to being named a AAA Travel Treasure! A study released in July showed a whopping $2 million economic impact to Hancock County from the 2012 event – which drew over 27,000 attendees. During 2013, the Festival evolved from a non-profit tourism attraction to a private sector venture.
  • To keep you more informed about the latest events and opportunities, we’ve revamped our entire communications system 4 new websites(INFINITY, Bay Bridgefest, Hancock Chamber and MS Gulf Coast Scenic Byways); a new look for the Annual Newcomers Buyer’s Guide – a partnership with the Sea Coast Echo; the weekly Chamber Checklist, 28 social media outlets from Facebook to Pinterest are maintained; and, in 2014 we’ll introduce a new Smart phone application through our new media partner, Mississippi Magazine.
  • The Chamber board oversees more than a dozen different committees that focus on education, beautification, greenways and scenic byways, community development, leadership and recognizing the best and brightest in Hancock County through our annual awards gala. The vision doesn’t stop there. At the start of 2013, the Chamber hosted a Beautification Summit, so leaders throughout the county can coordinate efforts and focus on the priorities.

Questions? Please Contact (228) 467-9048