The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors on Wednesday elected Christy Gillenwater as the new president and CEO of the Chamber. She will assume her new position in December 2017.
Ms. Gillenwater has been president and CEO of the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce in Evansville, In., since 2013. Prior to her current position she was president and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce in Bloomington, In., from 2005 until her present position.
She has worked in various positions at other chambers since 1996. During her terms as president at both Evansville and Bloomington those chambers were each awarded the coveted national “Chamber of the Year” in their categories.
During her most recent work in Evansville, Ms. Gillenwater significantly increased membership, led efforts in diversity and inclusion initiatives, and launched new efforts in workforce readiness and the development of that city’s downtown. She has been engaged in nearly $6 billion in economic development projects in Southwest Indiana. She co-led Evansville’s branding partnership which built a new Chamber brand to align its value recognition and business community. She has significant experience in Public Policy and Chamber advocacy and worked closely with state and regional elected officials. She serves on the board of directors of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and is a member of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce “Committee of 100.” She is a member of the Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy Advisory Council and the Indiana INTERNnet Board of Directors. She was selected nationally for the Education Attainment’s Division Fellowship for Workforce Initiatives and was named the 2017 Indiana Chamber Executive of the Year.
Larry Buie, chairman of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce said, “Our Transition Committee is very pleased with the selection of Christy, and our board is confident she will guide our chamber and our business community to the next levels of accomplishment in bringing Chattanooga, Hamilton County and this region to new leading roles in the southeast. Our chamber has made great strides in the last years in the area of Workforce Readiness, Chattanooga 2.0, Diversity, and business growth. Building on these accomplishments while adding focus to new priorities will be a great task for our staff and our member leadership. We are so fortunate to have a leader with Christy’s experience and background to lead us in this work.”
Ms. Gillenwater earned her bachelor's of science in Public Affairs at Indiana University and her MBA from Ball State University. She and her family are current residents of Evansville, In., and will be moving to the Chattanooga area by the end of the year.