Chamber Vice President & COO, Sonia Douglas, steps down after nearly 20 years

Sonia Douglas, the vice president and chief operating officer of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, is stepping down.

“After almost 20 rewarding years with the chamber and with much prayer and thought, I am excited to announce that I will pursue new opportunities in the community,” Douglas says. “The chamber has been on the front lines in creating this entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, and I’m called to branch out and participate in a new way.”

Douglas joined the chamber in 1993 as an administrative assistant. She served as interim president and CEO following the departure of Brent Christensen.

“We’ve had tremendous success over the years,” said Douglas. “The leaders and volunteers with whom I have been blessed to work have prepared me for the next step in my life.”

Under Douglas’ leadership in 2003, the organization first received accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a Four-Star Chamber.  The chamber won a Five-Star designation, held by less than one percent of chambers nationwide, in 2009.

Douglas helped lead the formation of the community-wide economic development initiative, Innovation Gainesville. She served on the Alachua/Bradford Workforce Board and helped to build the nationally recognized relationship between the chamber and the workforce system.

“Sonia is an outstanding leader who helped guide the chamber’s transformation into one of the top chambers in the country, say Mike Gallagher, 2012 chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and President & CEO of SantaFe HealthCare.

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