Germain named new Chamber president
After having served in many capacities over the better part of a decade, the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce has selected a proven employee and Cape native to serve as the organization’s president.
Donna Germain was named the new Chamber president and chief executive officer on Tuesday. She will report to the board and is responsible for leading, planning, organizing and overall control of the organization.
Germain takes over for Mike Quaintance, who left in April to become a professor at Keiser University.
Germain served as interim vice president while the board of directors conducted a national search before deciding the best qualified person for the job the local applicant.
“It’s a big opportunity and something that means a lot to me,” Germain said. I’ve worked toward this for a very long time and have had some great mentors I’ve worked with.”
Germain is coming into the presidency with a Chamber that is getting stronger, thanks to an improved economy.
“Our membership and retention numbers are going up, so not only are we gaining members, we’re keeping them,” Germain said. “We want to increase our range and reach more businesses throughout the city and assist them in getting more exposure for their business.”
Germain assumes the helm with an impressive resume. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in communications and marketing and started with the Chamber in 2004 as manager of membership relations following a year as a staff writer for the Island Reporter, a sister paper of the Cape Coral Breeze.
A year later, she became communications director, a job she held for nearly a decade before becoming interim vice president in January.
Germain is a graduate of Leadership Cape Coral and an Advanced Leadership Cape Coral graduate, for which she has also served as staff liaison for since 2011. She was a Gulfshore Business 40 under 40 award recipient and has worked in numerous capacities for the Relay for Life, including as event chairperson in 2010-11.
She was appointed this year to the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals’ Board of Directors.
In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management professional development program awarded her a 2015 Regent Scholarship for the second consecutive year, and she will once again attend the Northeast Chamber Institute at Villanova University this summer.
Quaintance said the board of directors was smart to promote from in-house, especially someone with Germain’s attitude.
“She’s worked hard to get where she is. I’m glad someone internal with institutional knowledge was chosen. She will do an excellent job for the chamber and it will be great for the community,” Quaintance said.
The board took a similar view in its selection.
“Donna’s devotion to the Chamber cannot be ignored, nor could we ignore the 20 letters of recommendation that accompanied her nomination,” said Ed Ramos, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, in a prepared statement “After conducting a deliberate selection process with due diligence that solicited candidates for the position from around the country, it was abundantly clear that Donna was the logical and most appropriate choice. I am confident she will continue to serve the Chamber and its members with the dedication she has always displayed.”
“We’re pleased that we have elected Donna. Our chamber has been known as a leadership chamber and we’re pleased that she’s a living example of the leaders we have produced from our programs,” Ramos added in a telephone interfview. “She brings youth, experience and a passion for Cape Coral that none of the other candidates could give.”
Germain said she is grateful for the board’s faith in her abilities.
“I am so honored to have the opportunity to lead the organization that I love so dearly,” Germain said. “I would like to thank the Chamber leadership for having the confidence in me to fill this position.”