The Heart of Kernersville: Chris Comer

By NJ Clausen

This month I would like to introduce you to a woman whom many will recognize from different places and events in and around Kernersville…. our Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Chris Comer.

The oldest of four sisters, Chris was born and grew up in Pennsylvania. Her favorite thing to do as a child was to be outside. She has always loved animals, and she raised beef cows to show at the local fair. Although her family lived in the township proper, they all worked together in the valley to redo their 1800’s farmhouse which had a milkshed, a well shed, and a barn. They redid everything, and as a family project they raised cows, pigs and chickens, which enabled them to be part of the 4-H club. Chris was actively involved in this club, showing off the livestock at the local fair where people would purchase them for meat. The family also had a garden, and meals consisted of what was grown or raised on the farm.

During the school year, Chris would start the day taking care of the animals, then went to school, followed by extra-curricular activities, returning home to take care of the animals, homework, then bed. During her high school years, her extra-curricular activities included what was then called the 440 in track, cheerleading for multiple sports, and she was also a gymnast for a short time.

At 14 years old, Chris started working at Camp Woodward, known for their programs in gymnastics, BMX, and skateboarding. During the summer she was a lifeguard who ran the pool, organized transportation for the kids who came to the camp from all over the world, starting with their arrival at the airport, bus, or train station then to the camp, and she also was responsible for registration.

After high school, Chris attended Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Her major was in Recreation Fitness Management, and Chris served as President of the Recreation and Parks class and taught swimming lessons at the YMCA. Chris did her internship at General Electric in Princeton, where she created a training program for their employees to decrease the number of sick days…and it worked!

In 1989, Chris and her family moved to Kernersville. While raising her boys – lights in her life who she speaks of with love and pride – Chris worked at the YWCA and created exercise programs. After six months, she transitioned to the YMCA, leading Aquatics and other programs. Chris served as Associate Executive Director in Kernersville before moving to the Davie County YMCA and the position of Executive Director.

When asked how she became President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce in Kernersville, Chris credits her time at the Kernersville YMCA for training and allowing people to find their passion. Through the YMCA she was able to volunteer and went through Leadership Kernersville at the Chamber. There she met leaders in the community, learned more about and participated in projects for the community ten years prior to stepping into the leadership position in 2013. Chris considers it a great privilege to serve the community and loves that each day is different and offers new experiences. She is quick to point out that many of the projects and programs are the result of a team effort and she enjoys the collaborations.

Chris stated that she has never seen anything like the dedication of the leaders who share the similar goals of wanting to live in a great place that has great opportunities and wants the best for everyone…and that, she feels, is pretty cool. There are many activities and programs that are sponsored by the Chamber, including Eating for Education, the Healthy Living Expo and Recycling Day to name just a few. The Chamber invites members of the community to learn more about these and other programs and offers information on how to become more involved. Chris strongly believes that Kernersville is an amazing place, with many passionate people who set the community up for success.

To family, friends, neighbors, and community, Chris extends a heartfelt thank you for being in her life. Building relationships brings great joy, and everyone is part of creating what Chris describes as living her best life.

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