By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
Increasing tensions are apparent as the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce continues to make changes that are contradictory to its current members and former officers. Charity Marcus was a member of the Greenwood Chamber and a tenant on Greenwood with a leasing agreement signed by the Greenwood Chamber under the direction of former Director Sherry Gamble-Smith. Marcus has since received a letter of eviction from the restructured Greenwood Chamber Board as it attempts to figure out its new direction. Marcus believes she is “being targeted for her involvement and support of the Greenwood Chamber membership.”
Charity Marcus also stated that, “The Greenwood Chamber Board claims that my rent was free,” it was not. I provided them with over $40,000 worth of services from April 2016 to January 2017 (well above the value of the office suite). Four of the current board members: Dr. Art Williams, Drew Diamond, Dr. Joyce McClellan and Dr. John Sassin were on the board when my contract was approved and signed. All of which, who have spent the last year approving my work being done (logo design, website creation, event planning, graphic designing, social media management general public relations, press release drafting, media relations and much more), attending Chamber events, and approving the structuring of the Young Professional.
Marcus states, “Not once in the past year was my contract questioned. Greenwood Chamber officials stated that my business conflicted with chamber business, however, before they terminated former Greenwood Chamber Director Sherry Gamble Smith, my business was never a conflict while I was doing work for them.”
The “eviction” letter I received stated, “I was being evicted over membership issues and false allegations, not that my lease is invalid,” stated Marcus.
The current Greenwood Chamber Board says, Marcus rent free deal was not approved by the board of directors even though she has documentation with that time periods current boards signatures, and approvals of her activities performed for the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.
The lease in question was signed last April of 2016 and is set to expire in March of 2017.