Gainesville Chamber of Commerce

Upping Our Game in Gainesville

Through leadership and collaboration, the Greater Gainesville Chamber facilitates economic opportunity, business success and community progress. Our five-star accredited Chamber is the voice for our 1,300 members who employ more than 80,000 people and our vision is to make our region a global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity

Local Chambers of Commerce play a foundational role in their communities: in fact, Chambers are the number one place people start when looking for information about a community. At the Greater Gainesville Chamber, we take that to heart, and everything we do reflects that commitment—our community is our why.

Our Board of Directors, comprised of engaged and dynamic community leaders, guides our efforts. Committed to giving back to our region, the Board reflects the true diversity of our community, with members representing banking and finance, biotechnology, construction, education, healthcare, non profits, real estate, retail, service and technology, with businesses and organizations both large and small.

Of course, many people think of get-togethers when they think of a Chamber, and with more than 100 networking events per year, we are delighted to provide that service. Our Membership team delivers the programming that brings our members together. A dynamic college town, Gainesville is home to preeminent talent, world-class healthcare, educational excellence, spirited entrepreneurship, a strong sense of place and a unifying desire to equalize opportunity for all our residents. Our member businesses reflect that diversity, and from the smallest of tech startups to the largest international corporations, we work hard to build flexibility and continuous improvement into our programming so we can provide meaningful engagement for all.

Economic development is certainly another key component of our Chamber. We have taken a new, more holistic approach with our newly launched five-year economic development and community strategy initiative, aptly named Collaborate 2025, with its focus on “Creating a Stronger Region and Better Life, Together.” Collaborate 2025 complements the strategic plans and initiatives already underway with our community partners—the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, our municipalities and county governments and our non-profits, to name just a few—to propel progress toward prosperity, success and upward mobility throughout our region.

Rounding out our advocacy for all community members, our Public Policy and Talent and Retention departments work to effect lasting change. Our Public Policy team works with our local, state and federal legislators to ensure our member voices are heard. We have made significant inroads in educating our community about the policy decisions that affect their daily lives, while encouraging their continued engagement via voter registration events, candidate forums and meet-and-greets with policymakers. Talent and Retention plays a key role in preparing the employees of tomorrow, not just at the high school and college level, but from birth through retirement and from the GED to the Ph.D.

Since 1924, the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce has celebrated what makes our region work. As we race toward our 100th anniversary, we’re working on what makes Gainesville great.

It has been about a year since I joined the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce as President/ CEO. Having served both business and the Chamber in various capacities over the years, I have the professional experience for this job, but what I really bring to the table is passion—we can be a gamechanger for this community at a very timely juncture of our history.

In five years, our Chamber will be 100 years old. When we get there, I’m looking forward to reflecting on how this community worked together to transform the meaning of opportunity for all people in our region. I am excited about upping our game—working as conveners to unify the community around transformative opportunities.

We have a strong history of success here—Go Gators—and combining a cooperative spirit with mutual respect, we can make great things happen. A transformation is already underway— just look at our flourishing startup community and the outstanding retail, cuisine, housing and entertainment options across our region. I see great potential with the Chamber’s Collaborate 2025 economic development strategy as well as our community’s Smart Cities initiative, our launch of autonomous vehicles and the growth of medical tourism within our world-class healthcare system. We can also make great strides developing more family-supporting jobs, improving our infrastructure and revitalizing both our urban core and our rural communities.

But first, we must acknowledge that all voices matter. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success.” I’m passionate about engaging every

individual who loves this community. I want to help people look beyond their differences and focus on the positives we can all agree on. One point of commonality, however small, gives us something to build on, and together we can only win.

Eric Godet was named President/CEO of the Greater Gainesville Chamber in December 2018. Eric has served our community for many years, working as vice president of organizational advancement for Haven Hospice and as a founding member of RTI Biologics. His previous experience includes work for Johnson & Johnson and IBM.

Gainesville Chamber of Commerce

www.gainesvillechamber.com
352-334-7100
300 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, Florida, 32601

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