Maryland Chamber of Commerce Names New President/CEO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Palmeri, Vice President Communications and Programming
jpalmeri@mdchamber.org
410-269-0642 or 301-262-2858 x129 or cell 860-204-2728

(Annapolis, Md. – May 10, 2016) – The Maryland Chamber of Commerce announced today that Christine Ross will serve as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. She will begin her role on July 11. Ross currently serves as the President and CEO of the Bonita Springs Area (Florida) Chamber of Commerce and the Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council. 

Search Committee Chairman Nate Biel, President of KCI Technologies, Inc., led a committee of board members in the national search. “We had many strong candidates from across the country,” Beil said. “Christine Ross was the ideal choice based on her leadership and proven track record at her current and prior chambers.” Beil also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors 

Board Chair Sheela Murthy, President of The Murthy Law Firm in Owings Mills, agreed. “Christine is a visionary leader,” Murthy said. “She exhibits the passion, communication and executive skills needed to help the Chamber and our State become a national and global leader in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.” 

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and employers throughout the State,” said Ross upon accepting the offer. “I see this as an opportunity to work with state leaders to improve Maryland’s business climate to retain and sustainably grow jobs, to build bridges between the universities and business community to ensure a strong talent pipeline, and to convene Chamber, business and Young Professional leaders from across the state to define how Maryland can become the number one place the young, well educated and talented want to live. 

CEO of the Greater Bonita Springs Chamber since 2009, Ross transformed the 1,000-member organization through difficult times, winning the coveted five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for effectiveness and impact. She has advocated for regulatory changes to improve the region’s competitive business climate, and worked to ensure quality workforce and education reform, progressive infrastructure planning for transportation, and technology.  

Ross also led a wide range of economic development activities such as long range broadband planning for a five county area of 1.2 million residents as well as a regional team for a state-wide strategic update for the Enterprise Florida 2014-17 economic development plan. 

She was voted Chamber Executive of the Year by the Florida Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives and her Chamber was recognized as Florida’s Chamber of the Year in 2014. That same year she earned her Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) status, only 500 chamber executives in the US have earned this designation. 

Prior to her service at the Bonita Springs Area Chamber, Ross served in similar positions at the Falmouth, MA and Williamstown, MA chambers for a total of nine years. She also worked as the Program Director of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and as Marketing Director at the Pittsfield, MA Tourism Council prior to her Chamber experience. 

Ross has several Maryland connections including earning an MBA and a Master’s in Marketing from the University of Maryland University College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Ross is married and has three grown children, two of whom are in graduate school in the Washington DC area. 

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The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is a statewide coalition of more than 700 organizations who employ more than 400,000 people throughout the State. Its mission is to help its member and the State of Maryland become national and global leaders in private sector job creation and business investment through innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.mdchamber.org or call Jessica Palmeri, Vice President of Communication and Programming for the Chamber, at 301-261-2858 or 410-269-0642 x129. 

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