Chamber Executive Article Archive

Faces and Places

By Multiple Authors


The Stillwater Chamber of Commerce (Okla.) named Justin Minges as its new president and CEO. Minges, who has worked in the financial services industry for 10 years, came to the chamber after working for Arvest Bank since 2011. In 2013, he was named the Young Professional of the Year by the Stillwater Chamber, and in 2016, was named as an Emerging Leader Under 40 by the Young Professionals of Stillwater.


Max Anderson is the new executive director of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce (Mich.). Prior to accepting the position, Anderson was a membership relations manager for Fifth Third Bank in Traverse City.


Stephanie Barnette was selected to be the new president and CEO of the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce (La.). She previously served as the chamber’s administrative assistant.


The Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce (Ohio) recently welcomed Dan Bates as its new president and CEO. He comes to the chamber after having led chambers in Sharonville, Ohio and Lower Bucks County, Penn.


Krisann Durnford has been named executive director of the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce (Wis.). Durnford began volunteer committee work with the chamber in 2008 and was hired as the chamber’s events and marketing coordinator in 2015 before moving into this new role.


Shannon Full, IOM, has stepped down as president and CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce (Wis.) to become the new president of TwinWest Chamber of Commerce (Minn.). She began her chamber career at the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce (Minn.) and subsequently led chambers in Melbourne, Fla. and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Full has received numerous awards for her work including the Wisconsin Economic Development Association's Governors Young Professional of the Year in 2016.


Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Andrew Hoan was selected to be the organization’s new president and CEO. He succeeds Carlo A. Scissura who was tapped to be president and CEO of the New York Building Congress.


Lead Area Chamber of Commerce (S.D.) recently named Karen Kean to be its new executive director. Kean brings to the position many years of experience as a small business owner and commercial property manager. She has also served as executive director of one of the largest early childhood centers in Boise, Idaho.


The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce (N.Y.) appointed longtime chamber staff member Kate Ollier to be its new president. Ollier, who had been serving as interim president, was the chamber’s director of member engagement and business development.


Tim Giuliani, CCE, has been selected to be the president and CEO of the Orlando region’s soon-to-merge economic development/chamber group that will combine the Orlando Economic Development Commission and Central Florida Partnership, which includes Orlando, Inc. (Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce). Giuliani was most recently the president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (N.C.). Before that, he served as CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and vice president of corporate outreach and engagement for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.


Ann Silver, formerly executive director of JOIN in Reno, Nev., has been selected as the new CEO of the Reno-Sparks Northern Nevada Chamber. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Notre Dame Law School and has extensive leadership experience in Nevada state government, the private sector in New York City, and non-profits, including having served as the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada.


The Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce (N.C.) introduced Anissa Freeman Starnes, IOM, as the organization's new president and CEO. Prior to accepting this position, Starnes served as the director of national organizations overseeing the national chamber program for Constant Contact. She has previously held leadership positions with the Charlotte Chamber (N.C.), York County Chamber (S.C.) and Burke County Chamber (N.C.).


The World Chambers Federation (WCF) – a non-political, non-governmental body, which unites a global network of 12,000 chambers of commerce and helps individual chambers become more productive and strengthens links among them – announced election results of the WCF General Council. Members of chambers from all over the world voted to fill 20 seats on the body, which now includes two ACCE-member CEOs, who will each serve three-year terms beginning in 2017. Calgary Chamber President and CEO Adam Legge joins the General Council with Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO Jay Byers, CCE, who was elected to serve a second term. ACCE President Mick Fleming was re-elected to serve a third three-year term as vice chair on the WCF’s Executive Committee.


The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce (Ala.) announces Casey Gay-Williams as its new president. According to the chamber, “Williams has a very special connection to the organization that dates back to her childhood, when her father Charlie Gay was the [c]hamber's manager for many years.” Williams comes to the Eastern Shore Chamber after working for United Bank as its executive vice president and retail director.


The Opelika Chamber of Commerce (Ala.) named Pam Powers-Smith as its new president. Powers-Smith was previously director of Opelika Main Street. She succeeds the recently retired Barbara Patton, who had served as president since 2010.


In February, Ian D. Scott begins a new position as senior vice president of business advocacy at the Charleston Metro Chamber. Scott heads to Charleston, S.C. after more than nine years at ACCE, first as public policy manager and for the past six years as vice president overseeing communications and member peer networks. During his tenure, Scott led ACCE’s rebranding, launched the D&I Division, contributed to the Horizon Initiative report and expanded engagement in the Metro and Major Cities Councils.


In Memoriam
Life Member and former ACCE Chairman Bill Dauer passed away on November 3, 2016. Dauer, a U.S. Marine with the First Raiders Bn. and the 22nd Regiment, 6th Marine Division, in the Pacific, earned degrees from the University of Nebraska and Wesleyan in finance. Immediately afterwards he entered chamber management and led organizations in Lexington and Grand Island, Neb.; Springfield and Kansas City, Mo.; and ultimately culminating his chamber career with a 19 year-tenure in San Francisco. In 2001, he came out of retirement to serve as interim president of the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce (Ca.). He served as president of the Nebraska, Missouri, and California Chamber of Commerce Executives and was a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Former chamber leader Bill Scarafia passed away on October 24, 2016. Scarafia most recently served as president and CEO of the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce (Md.) until his recent retirement in June, after a 14-year tenure with the organization. During Scarafia’s time there, he was a member of the St. Mary’s County Economic Development Commission, and in 2008, he was named as Maryland Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year. Scarafia began his chamber career as executive director of the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce (N.Y.).

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