East Walker County Chamber Of Commerce
The East Walker Chamber of Commerce The East Walker County Chamber of Commerce was chartered in 1975 for the purpose of promoting the advancement of civic, commercial, industrial and agricultural interests of East Walker County and the surrounding communities, as well as the general welfare and prosperity of our area.
In short, we are an organization of business, professional and other concerned citizens, working together for the common good of the community.
Membership is extended to any business, professional, or individual person desiring to assist in promoting our mission. The cities served by East Walker Chamber are Cordova, Dora, Sipsey and Sumiton.
Profile: Paul Gonzalez
Paul Gonzalez, local entrepreneur and business owner originally came from Beckley West Virginia. He retired after 21 years in the military as a Sargent Major and after his stint in the military, he looked around West Virginia for business opportunities.
He bought a radio station in 1989, and then in the year 2000, he purchased his second station. This is where he learned his business chops because not only was he the owner, but he was also the sales manager. He did all the back office work, which meant he paid the bills, did payroll, and the human resource work.
His background prior to radio was in food services, so he jumped at the chance to go through McDonalds training program. After completing the program, there were opportunities to buy restaurants in Atlanta, another one in Nebraska, Iowa, and then he learned about the restaurant in Dora/Sumiton.
He was vacationing in Florida when he got the call that the restaurant was available here, so he drove up the check out the area. He also went to Iowa, but he loved East Walker County. “I decided to live hear because of the warmer climate, and it’s also a great place to live because I love boating and fishing.”
When asked why he likes this part of the country, Paul is quick to say, “It’s the people. The people here made me and my wife feel as if we’d known them forever.”
The local businesses have been very supportive as well.
He’s excited about the future for East Walker County, and about the things going on with the Chamber of Commerce here.
Paul said one of the primary objectives of the chamber and community leaders should be to attract new business that in turn would bring jobs to the area. “That’s the big thing.”
Another thing he would like to see is for our chamber to form committees that are responsible for various functions – Communications, recruiting, economic development, fundraising, and special projects. “We should look at the assets of our membership and get those people in committees.” He feels that this is the way to get results and to make an area grow.
He feels that as a group, area leadership should develop long-range plans and then work toward those goals to bring entrepreneurship to the area.
Paul has been married for 35 years and has two daughters. One is a nurse, and the other is a business major in college.
He not only owns the Dora/Sumiton McDonalds, but also the one in Graysville.