Waterloo Chamber hires new director

Matt Caraway

The Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently  announced a new appointment to its executive director position.

Matt Caraway, pastor of Truth Church in Waterloo, will be stepping in to replace Candace Gardner, who recently left the position.

Caraway – who is originally from Cambria – moved to Waterloo in February 2020, just a few weeks before the COVID pandemic. Though he experienced some interesting times in his new home in the months that followed, Caraway said he also got to see the community come together in a unique way.

He said he quickly fell in love with the community during his first days in Waterloo.

“The history is brief, but it’s one of those stories where you’ve only been here for a couple years but you feel like you’ve lived here your whole life,” Caraway said.

Caraway spoke about his previous work as both a youth and assistant pastor and his experience starting and developing programs at Carbondale Elementary School as reasons why he feels he is suited for the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce position.

He also mentioned his work as pastor at Truth Church. Caraway said the position there is understood to be accompanied by a full-time job elsewhere, and he believes the two positions are likely to be complimentary given how they both emphasize relationships.

Relationships and people, Caraway expressed, are big passions for him.

“What I really have experience in is developing relationships, and honestly that’s just based off my love for people,” Caraway said. “I consider myself a people person because I genuinely do love people, building relationships with them and showing them how much they are valued.”

Caraway further said he has a great deal of experience keeping good projects and programs going. 

He also complimented Gardner and the state she left the position in.

“She did a great job, and she put me in a good position to come in to a good place and then continue the trajectory,” Caraway said.

While Caraway said he wasn’t currently able to reveal any specifics, he did say he has goals for the chamber that are already being discussed and hopes to keep things going in the positive trajectory that his predecessor left them.

For more information on the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, call 618-939-5300 or email chamber@htc.net.

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Andrew Unverferth

HTC web