Kellie Sherrill, president and founder of Southern California based web design company, Knightling Inc., was elected as the newest vice president of the Executives Association of Long Beach earlier this month.
EALB, a network of carefully selected businesses that helps build and promote member businesses through referrals, was founded in 1922 and the current roster includes over 50 area businesses that meet the association’s stringent business and professional standards.
Sherrill joined EALB in 2008 and spent more than four years working on the organization’s board of directors before being elected vice president this month.
“I’m honored actually. I’m one of the youngest members, so to me its really a big honor that they even invited me to be on the board and have my options valued,” Sherrill said. “It gives me the opportunity to try and implement some of the changes that I don’t think they see coming.”
One of Sherrill’s first orders of business is to continue her track record of expansion. She admits that while membership has fallen due to many factors (including but not limited to the recession and retirement), she’d like to see the roster eventually top 100. Because businesses can only become members after being suggested by a current association member, the association has an air of exclusivity, but that’s something that Sherrill says will help EALB in the long run.
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“We don't want anyone becoming a member that isn’t an upstanding business that has a good reputation and a good following because we think that’s only going to hurt ourselves and our network,” Sherrill said. “You refer your friends and your family to them, not just your business colleagues. If you can’t trust them with your mother’s home or your sister’s office…you’re not going to want to recommend them.”
In addition to the obvious benefits of having the opportunity to bid on association member’s business needs, Sherrill says that one of the most valuable assets provided by membership is the mentoring provided by seasoned business owners that come from a wide array of backgrounds. Despite not advertising, she hopes to continue to build the EALB because having had the experience of a young business owner looking for guidance and patronage, she knows how valuable the association is.
“We’re kind of the best kept secret in Long Beach and I don’t think we should be a secret anymore,” Sherrill said.
For more information on Long Beach Executive Association, visit longbeachexecs.com