The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s new president and CEO is Christy Gillenwater, who has had the same position in other areas.
“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,” Chattanooga Chamber Chairman Larry Buie said in a prepared statement.
Gillenwater is replacing Bill Kilbride, who is retiring, and will assume the position in December.
She’s been president and CEO of the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce in Evansville, Indiana, since 2013.
Before that, she was president and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce in Bloomington, Indiana.
She has worked in various positions at other chambers since 1996.
During her terms as president at both the Evansville and Bloomington chambers, each was awarded the national Chamber of the Year Award, according to a news release.
During her most recent work in Evansville, Gillenwater 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 also co-led Evansville’s branding partnership, which built a new chamber brand to align its value recognition and business community.
She has experience in public policy and chamber advocacy, and worked closely with state and regional elected officials, according to a news release.
Buie also said:
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.
Gillenwater earned her bachelor’s in public affairs at Indiana University and her master’s in business administration from Ball State University.
She and her family are current residents of Evansville, but will be moving to the Chattanooga area by the end of the year.