Our team is unparalleled in drive and determination. Our common goal? To see Hancock County prosper and grow. We’re happy to serve the community, and always ready to go the extra mile. Click on name of team member to e-mail or scroll down the page for full biographical information. Feel free to call us during business hours at 228.467.9048.
Tish Haas Williams – Executive Director
Linda McCarthy –Assistant Director
Mike Chapoton – Loan Officer
Sally Isaacs – Business Resource Center Manager
Mary Wilson – Digital Marketing Specialist
Tish Haas Williams
Tish Haas Williams is the Executive Director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce and the Hancock Community Development Foundation, a 501 c 3 non profit corporation with a focus on economic and community development in the post Katrina environment. She has 30 years experience in non-profit management and economic development and is recognized as one of the leading forces in producing solutions and strategies to address serious capacity delivery needs caused by and exposed by Katrina to support existing businesses as well as sustain long term growth in the county and region.
On August 29, 2005, business as usual changed for the businesses of Hancock County. Hurricane Katrina hit Hancock County, Mississippi the hardest wiping out residences, businesses and parts of the cities of Waveland and Bay St. Louis. Out of 1,600 businesses countywide, at least 50% were either damaged or destroyed. Overnight, the county’s economy was incomprehensibly shattered as was the capacity, membership, and resources of this countywide economic focused organization.
Ms. Williams, only weeks following Katrina, launched an innovative effort to contend with the storm’s devastation and challenges beginning with the Chamber re-emerging as the first Business Recovery & Assistance Center on the Mississippi Coast, funded through creative leveraged partnering of the Mississippi Development Authority with a grant from the Economic Development Administration. This effort was recognized as a national model for disaster recovery. In 2006, she was the recipient of the prestigious Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contribution to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official by the US Small Business Administration. She was also recognized during that same year by the Mississippi District Office of the US Small business Administration as Mississippi’s Outstanding Official for Disaster Recovery. The Sun Herald named her one of the region’s Top Ten Community Leaders in South Mississippi during 2005.
With the business recovery effort stabilized, Williams then undertook to establish needed new delivery capacity for the county and region by the creation of a new 501c3 nonprofit as an economic and community development corporation which is the Hancock Community Development Foundation. This successful endeavor resulted in 2009 in being able to establish the HUD funded Katrina CDBG $3 million low interest/forgivable loan program, the only program if its kind, now a model for other communities in the region to assist small businesses still struggling to recover from the storms. It also led to the establishment of two other non-profits focused on housing and downtown revitalization strategies.
Williams also serves as Secretary and Executive Director for a two state regional non profit organization, Partners for Stennis, promoting growth and jobs for NASA-Stennis Space Center. Following Katrina, she managed the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal for Hancock County. Over the years, she has served on numerous panels on disaster recovery for the EDA, International Economic Development Council, and the US Chamber. She is a member of the Mississippi Governor’s Oil Spill Commission and a member of the economic development committee. In 2009, she was named as the Inaugural recipient of the Jody Compretta Person of Passion Award for her persistence and leadership to rebuild Hancock County.
Executive with 20+ years of experience leading the day-to-day operational success and long-term growth of national convention centers, special event facilities and tourism impact initiatives. Expertise in achieving efficiencies across operations, financials, marketing, event presenting, and human resources to ensure the highest level of service while optimizing profitability. Manage multimillion-dollar budgets and direct teams of up to 200 exempt and non-exempt employees. Operate at the highest levels of the organization to lead major capital improvement projects that range in value from $100K to a $65 million major expansion. Proven ability to establish and maintain strategic relationships with key community leaders, corporate partners, vendors, suppliers, exhibitors and internal associates to ensure facilities exceed revenue and brand identity objectives.
McCarthy holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. She also is a graduate of the International Association of Venue Managers, Facility Management School in Wheeling, WV.
Hancock County Job Generation Fund (HCJGF) Loan Officer for the HCDF, Chapoton is results-oriented leader with proven success in managing personnel involved with commercial and consumer loan operations for a multi-state bank environment. He’s also a critical thinker and adept negotiator who can apply extensive knowledge of industry to provide outstanding operations productivity, efficiency and profitability. Chapoton also has proven leadership and team-building skills, coupled with the ability to direct the successful conversion and consolidation of over thirty acquired banks. His extensive experience with loan systems – including Fidelity CL and ALS, Shaw, and AFS – and skills in developing and implementing standardized policies and procedures.
Chapoton’s responsibilities as HCHGF Loan Officer include administration of the $2.4 million (HCJGF) loan program, developing underwriting and operational procedures, primary client contact and government compliance.
He holds an MBA in Economics and Finance from Nicholls State University, as well as an undergraduate B.S in Economics from Nicholls.
A business owner for over twenty years, Issacs has over a decade of experience in real estate (development and construction), quality management consulting and healthcare management and direct patient care. She is adept at management/administration, customer service, problem solving, process improvement and training/education; this includes excellent skills in facilitating communication and coordination between different job positions. Computer skills include proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Publisher.
Isaacs holds a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She also holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Millsaps College in Jackson.
Mary- Amalie Wilson
Now, Wilson is responsible the online presence of the Hancock Chamber, the INFINITY Science Center and Partners for Stennis. Since arriving Wilson has created and maintains 20 + social media accounts for all Chamber, INFINITY and Partners for Stennis, as well as, maintaining their websites and online calendars. Wilson is also in charge of coordinating all monthly Hancock Chamber Business After Hours events.