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Murray named Chamber’s executive director

March 4, 2020
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, for the first time in five years, will have an executive director.

Wendy Murray, a North Fort Myers businesswoman, was named to the position, which has been vacant since Chris Jackson resigned in 2015, at the Chamber's monthly Business Leaders Luncheon Wednesday at Herons Glen.

Murray said she didn't apply for the job, but was recruited by Chamber president John Gardner after he decided to look beyond the applicant pool.

Article Photos

Wendy Murray

"We looked at 20 candidates and there were 17 of them from out of state who wanted to move to Florida. Some of them had experience, but I couldn't think of anyone that could hit the ground running like Wendy," Gardner said. "She knows North Fort Myers, has run successful businesses and she's there with the learning curve."

Murray said her years in the local business community and involvement with the Chamber made her the perfect candidate, even if she wasn't seeking the job at first.

"My heart is in North Fort Myers and I live in North Fort Myers. It's in my heart that I want the North Fort Myers Chamber to succeed and take it to 2.0," Murray said.

Murray's background includes various management positions with The Breeze Newspapers, where she was instrumental in the founding of new print products, including the Neighbor.

She then started Affordable Cremations, No Place Like Home Senior Care, which she later expanded, and Senior Life Magazine.

Murray said as the chamber's executive director, she wants to give the members a sense of community and of an enhanced business atmosphere.

"Even though we are a non-profit, people need to ask themselves what the Chamber is going to do for me. Unlike other non-profits where you ask what can we do for them, the Chamber needs to be involved in people's businesses and create a community," Murray said.

"She knows people who have been involved with the Chamber previously. And honestly, we had people tell us they weren't going to join the chamber until we hired an executive director," Gardner said. "As president, it is not my forte to run this organization as a volunteer."

After Johnson left, the chamber hired a part-time marketing director while leaving the top position vacant. Gardner said that was a mistake, and he was determined to fill the position.

"We lost members because we didn't have an executive director. We have not grown, so it hurt us," Gardner said. "We have a list of volunteer recruits that will keep the chamber open five days a week and Wendy will be in the community, not behind a desk."

 
 

 

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