published on July 15, 2016 - 9:37 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Al Smith, former head of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce until earlier this year, is stepping in to assist the Reedley Chamber of Commerce after the resignation of its executive director.

Valerie Pieroni left the position last month after seven years on the job.

Smith said Tim Thiesen, current chair of the Reedley Chamber’s board, reached out to him for help while the chamber conducts a search for a new director. Smith expects to serve as interim director for a couple of months, and will also be part of the search committee.

Smith served as president and CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce for 10 years before resigning earlier this year after helping with the transition of Nathan Ahle as the new CEO.

“I’ve always had a compassion for the chamber world,” Smith said. “I know what a good organization’s influence in the community can be.”

Jess Chambers, former executive director of the Kingsburg Chamber of Commerce, is also helping out part time in Reedley.

The Reedley Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2009, and has a budget of $250,000, funded in part by the City of Reedley, according to information provided for The Business Journal’s 2015 Chambers of Commerce list.

Smith, who spent nearly 50 years as an executive in the radio industry, said he was raised in a small town, and is excited to assist businesses in the Fresno County town nestled along the Kings River.

“I think there’s a good core of people here. There’s some great enthusiasm, and some real signature events,” he said.

Smith is also serving as a leadership coach for local companies as part of the John C. Maxwell leadership training program. For more information, contact Smith at

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