Smith serves with chamber, volunteering

Published 4:54 pm Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Daily News’ weekly Neighbors series features one person from LaGrange and the surrounding area.

This week we spoke with Casey Smith, the vice president of operations at Calumet Bank in LaGrange and chair-elect of the executive committee at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce.

LaGrange Daily News: Where are you from?

Smith: I actually grew up in Hogansville, so I was (part of) the first class to graduate Callaway High School in 1997. So, that was quite a transition. I went away to school for a few years, and then I ended up coming back to the community.

LDN: What is your favorite place here in Troup County?

Smith: I guess probably the downtown area. I am just so excited about all the stuff that we’ve got going on down there — all the local vendors and local shops and restaurants. You can go to downtown, and you can just have a whole evening. You don’t have to go anywhere else.

LDN: What do you is the most beautiful place in Troup County?

Smith: Probably our lake. Some of the sights around our lake are beautiful, especially sunrise and sunsets. They are comparable to many other places that you (could go). It takes you far away.

LDN: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Smith: Well, I have two daughters. They are ages 16 and 13, and so they take up a great deal of my free time right now. I am involved with them. They do ballet at LSPA (Lafayette Society for Performing Arts) downtown, and so I am involved in volunteer work there and certainly carting them around, back and forth to rehearsals and productions and things like that.

LDN: How have you seen LaGrange change over the years?

Smith: It has really changed for the better, I think. We have gotten more and more amenities, and I feel like we still have the same values. People in LaGrange are still friendly and welcoming, and we have that hometown feel, but we are finally getting some of the retail that we’ve been wanting for a long time. It makes it to where we can stay here right at home and do our shopping and support our community.

LDN: Is there any type of business that you would like to see come to the area?

Smith: Of course, we all like shopping. I don’t think you can ever have enough of that, but certainly more retail, shopping establishments and more choices for restaurants. I would love to see them in different areas throughout the county. I think we definitely could use another grocery store in the Whitesville Road or Hamilton Road area would be fantastic.

LDN: What is your favorite part of working in LaGrange?

Smith: Definitely the people. We have the best customers. They are happy that they can bank with a community bank that listens to them and understands their needs. That is the reason I come to work every day, is to try to do the best job that I can for them.

LDN: Would you like to comment on your involvement with the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce?

Smith: Sure, I have been involved with the chamber of commerce since I was in the Leadership Troup class in 2007, and that really piqued my interest in what the chamber does because even though I was from Troup County, I learned a tremendous amount about just all the different things that go on in the county. From education to industry to tourism, that I had never really thought about before. So, once I really understood more about how things work together and how people being involved and voicing their opinions and what is important to them could make a difference, then I decided, “well, you know what, I’m going to try to be more involved.”

So, I’ve served in several different roles. I was part of that class in 2007. I later served as the chairman of the Leadership Troup Board, and then I served as secretary treasurer for two years before I was nominated as chair elect last year. That is what has put me in my role as chairman. I have been very involved in the chamber for the last 10 years and look forward to continuing that involvement and deepening relationships with the members and the community.

LDN: Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Smith: I am also very involved in the Kiwanis Club of LaGrange. I am on their board as well, and I also serve as a Key Club advisor at Troup High School for Kiwanis Club. We are really big on doing things that benefit children in our community, and so one of the big pushes for Key Club is to give them leadership development and also scholarship opportunities.

Our club works really hard all year long raising money so that we are able to help children peruse their college dreams. That is also something that is really important to me. Having children myself and also just wanting to have something in our community that we can offer to children that may otherwise not have the opportunity to go to college.

‘Neighbors’ is a weekly series by the Daily News that highlights community members. To nominate a person to be featured, call (706) 884-7311.