New President/CEO Update!

Published Monday, March 5, 2018

Dear Fellow Chamber Members,

After several months of diligent searching and interviewing, your Board of Directors is very pleased to announce the hiring of our new President/CEO, Kathy Lehner.

As a former VACC Chair of the Board, Kathy has a strong affinity for the Chamber, its family of members and the important role it plays in the Venice business community. Kathy came to her interview with passion and desire for the position, as well as solid short and long-term goals of how to maintain and grow the strong leadership position our chamber has in the community.  The board and staff are confident and excited to begin the next chapter of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce with Kathy as our President/CEO and I know our members will be enthused.

I'd like to thank Debbie LaPinska of PGT Industries and the entire Search Committee for their commitment to excellence in performing this most important role for our chamber.  There were many qualified candidates to consider, and the diligent work of the Search Committee ensured that the best fit for our chamber and community were brought to the board for consideration.  And to all of the candidates, we thank you for your desire to lead our chamber and ask that you continue to support the chamber with that same passion as we move forward.  It takes a village and each of you remain an important part of that village.

On behalf of the Board, I must also extend a very heartfelt thank you to Dave Pierce, Business Development Director, who has served as our interim President/CEO for the past eight months. Dave has been gracious in accepting additional responsibilities and tireless in performing them, and we are very grateful for his leadership during this time of transition. 

Again, please join me in congratulating Kathy in her new position. While no one will ever replace John Ryan and his legacy, we firmly believe that with her energy, ideas and strong leadership skills, Kathy will make her own positive mark on our chamber and the Venice community in the years to come.


Elizabeth Crapet
Chairman of the Board 2017-18

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