Maryland Chamber of Commerce hires new president

A new president of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce will start in July.

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has hired the head of the Bonita Springs, Fla., chamber as its next president and CEO.

Christine Ross will start July 11, the Maryland Chamber said Tuesday. She is president and CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and the Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council.

"Christine is a visionary leader," chamber Board Chair Sheela Murthy said in the announcement. "She exhibits the passion, communication and executive skills needed to help the Chamber and our state become a national and global leader in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship."

Brien Poffenberger, the chamber's CEO since June 2014, stepped down in December. The chamber is a coalition of more than 700 organizations that employ more than 400,000 in Maryland.

Ross said she hopes to work to improve Maryland's business climate to add jobs and to build bridges between universities and the business communities.

She has served in her current role at the 1,000-member organization in Florida since 2009, advocating for regulatory changes to improve the competitive business climate as well as for workforce and education reform. She also led long range broadband planning for a five county area of 1.2 million residents and headed a regional team for a an update to the Enterprise Florida 2014-17 economic development plan. She served previously in similar jobs in Massachusetts in Falmouth and Williamstown.

She is a graduate of University of Maryland University College, where she earned an MBA and a Master's in Marketing.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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