Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Chamber Head Hits the Road to Help Clay

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Chamber Head Hits the Road to Help Clay

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Brune Mathis

ORANGE PARK -- Clay County commuters to Duval County, and there are a lot of them, spend an average 40 minutes on the road each way, and that's on a good day.

That's why Kellie Jo Kilberg, president of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Clay County Development Authority, intends to take advantage of today's Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce leadership trip to Boston.

Kilberg, who lives in Southside and commutes against traffic to Clay, wants to corner the influential government and business leaders among the 150 travelers. She wants to recruit support for Clay County transportation projects and she wants to persuade companies to bring employment centers to the county. That would accomplish two goals: Alleviating traffic as commuters stay closer to home and increasing jobs, and possibly wage levels, in Clay.

"Transportation for us in Clay County is a huge issue," Kilberg said Tuesday at her Kingsley Avenue offices. She expects to spend the trip "building the relationships with business and government and telling the Clay story."

Kilberg said she and David Robertson, past chair of the Clay County Chamber, are the two travelers representing the county. They should take every opportunity to make their points. Where else could they have three days of face time with people like Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, City Council President Kevin Hyde, Chamber Chairman Bob Helms and incoming Chairman Ed Burr, Jacksonville Planning and Development Director Mike Saylor and Duval County School Board Chair Nancy Broner? Those are just a few names on the list of travelers.

While those folks might not govern Clay, they have direct and strong connections to state and regional decisionmakers who can help.

With about three years on the job, Kilberg has taken the past two leadership trips to Dallas and San Diego. …

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