Thursday, May 26, 2011


The First Woman to Lead the Chamber of Commerce

Being the first woman to serve as President of the Dublin-Laurens Chamber of Commerce came easy to Geva Alexander. In a male dominated business world, all Geva had to do was what her daddy told her to do, be professional and be a woman.

A former Dublin High School teacher, Geva Alexander entered the office supply, machinery, and printing business back in 1964 in Dublin. Geva partnered with her husband Louis, a veteran Dublin businessman. Over the last forty seven years, Mrs. Alexander has worked tirelessly without any self motive other than to help build a better community for her family and friends.

So, in 1989, Geva was elected by the membership of the Dublin-Laurens Commerce as the organization's first female president. Since then Helen Harper, June Moore, and Marcia Christian have served as the female leaders of the 100-year-old league of businesses.

During her term, the chamber became a professional chamber. "It had gotten to be a professional chamber where people are actually trained to do the job a chamber should do," Alexander commented. "My greatest contribution to the chamber was to that point, our chamber directors were frequently retired businessmen," Geva added. In judging the impact of that change, Mrs. Alexander commented, "I think it helped the whole county by making us a fully professional chamber."

Geva Alexander never thought too much about being the first woman to head the Chamber of Commerce. "I truly believe if I was put in a man's world, I had to obey their laws and rules," she contends. It was Geva's sole goal to achieve as a professional. Her father installed one rule in her mind. That rule was "always be a professional and be a lady while you do it."

Just a week ago, Geva and Louis celebrated their 47th year in business in Dublin. Working with her parents is their daughter Nannette. Geva has instilled her father's core beliefs in her own children just like her father did in her.

Geva Alexander accepts no credit or accolades for her election to the presidency of the chamber. "I had lots of friends in high places. I don't flatter myself," she explains, "There are a lot more assertive women who could have done a better job." In summing up her tenure as president, Mrs. Alexander stated, "It is my hope that I planted a seed for professionalism in the business community and in the Chamber of Commerce.

Geva Alexander was the first woman to serve as president of the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. She won't be the last. Whether intentionally, or not, Geva Alexander has set the standard of the professional business woman in our community for generations to come.