Bloomington woman new president of SW Indiana Chamber - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Bloomington woman new president of local Chamber of Commerce

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On Wednesday, Christy A. Gillenwater of Bloomington was named president and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana.

Gillenwater has been the president and CEO of The Greater Bloomington Chamber since 2005. The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce serves a metro population of 140,000 and was named the 2012 National Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and was named the 2011 Indiana Chamber of the Year by the Indiana Chamber Executives Association.

Under Gillenwater's leadership, The Greater Bloomington Chamber led efforts to gain local support on critical infrastructure projects such as Interstate 69 and the expansion of State Road 45/46 Bypass.

She was involved in several initiatives to improve the public schools in Monroe County, including the attainment of $320,000 in grant funds from AT&T to support six years of graduation coach funding. This partnership with area schools helped to decrease high school dropout rates by 10% during the first five years of the Graduation Coach Initiative. During her tenure at The Greater Bloomington Chamber, Gillenwater developed a thoughtful process by which public policy issues are vetted, developed and implemented.

Signature events such as the Annual Governors Luncheon were launched, along with targeted programs including Helping Young Professionals Excel (hYPe), the Green Business Bloomington designation program and the Healthy Business Bloomington worksite wellness program.

Gillenwater will succeed Matthew Meadors, who led The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana before taking the president, CEO position at the Greater Waco Chamber Waco, TX. Gillenwater was selected following a national search led by an executive search consulting firm, Jorgenson Consulting, Greensboro, NC. She will assume the leadership at The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana in mid]January.

"We are very pleased to introduce Christy Gillenwater to our community as the new Chamber president," said Kathy Briscoe, Chairman of the Chamber's Board of Directors. The search committee, led by Briscoe and comprised of Chamber and community leaders, was looking for a candidate that would help lead the Chamber and the business community to the next level. Briscoe said all indicators pointed to Gillenwater. "With Christy's experience with public policy issues, her ability to plan strategically and willingness to facilitate positive action made the decision easier for the committee. We all felt we had found a very special person to help lead the organization."

"I am deeply honored to accept this position and the challenges it brings," said Gillenwater. "My family and I looking forward to living in Evansville and working with the Chamber team. The energy in the community is incredible, and I am excited to be able to have the opportunity to collaborate with the talented community leaders in the Evansville region!"

She holds a Bachelor Degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Ball State University.  Gillenwater is one of more than 481 chamber executives who have earned the designation of Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) over the past 38 years.

About The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana

The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana is one of the largest regional chambers of commerce in the State of Indiana. The Chamber and its members lead Southwest Indiana by fostering an innovative business, educational, cultural and governmental environment that excels in a global marketplace. Visit www.CCSWIN.com for more information.

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