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Sanibel Captiva Chamber announces John Lai as CEO, president

By Staff | Sep 5, 2017

John Lai.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce announces John Lai as the incoming president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2018. Ric Base, who has served as the Chamber’s president and CEO for the past 11 years, will retire at the end of 2017.

“There was an extensive search to fill this position,” said Board Chair Donna Puma, “but it was a unanimous vote by the search committee, Board of Directors and Executive Board that John was the best candidate to lead our Chamber into the future.”

Lai joined the Chamber’s team in March 2017 as Member Services Manager and has endeavored to build strong relationships with members by understanding the challenges and needs of the business community. He brought 17 years of experience in managing branded and independent hotels and resorts throughout Lee County, as well as a unique perspective as a past board member, to his role.

“John has a strategic view of our Chamber’s mission of ‘To promote the prosperity of our members and preserve the quality of life in our Community’,” Puma said. “On behalf of the board, we look forward to John’s leadership and wish him success in his new role.”

Lai has lived in the area for more than 25 years and carries a deep connection to the islands. He continues to enjoy his community with his wife Amy and two children.

“I’m very honored and grateful to have this opportunity,” Lai said. “It’s a unique challenge, but one I feel both enthusiastic about and prepared to face.”

To learn more about the Chamber and the numerous benefits for members, visit sanibel-captiva.org or call 239-472-1080. The popular Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Chamber Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island, 1159 Causeway Road.