The JAX Chamber Board of Directors Friday morning selected Darnell Smith as the 2017 Chamber Chair.
Smith, Florida Blue Market President for the North Florida Region, currently serves on the board and will begin as Chair-elect in January 2016.
“Jacksonville is building some incredible momentum, and I’m excited to see what the Chamber can do to help businesses thrive and grow jobs in every corner of our community,” Smith said. “I believe the business community can play a pivotal role in creating more economic opportunity for families, which will improve the quality of life for everyone in our city.”
The Chamber traditionally selects its chair more than a year in advance. In his role as Chair-elect, Smith will lead the 2016 Leadership Trip and the Chamber’s Board of Governors in 2016, a larger group of business leaders that helps to implement policy and priorities set by the Board of Directors. Audrey Moran, senior vice president for social responsibility and community advocacy, is Chair-elect this year and will serve as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2016.
Smith has been the Market President of the North Florida Region for Florida Blue since 2013, and is responsible for business market growth as well as customer and community involvement across 36 North Florida counties, stretching from Palm Coast through Pensacola.
“Building business opportunities and creating jobs is all about relationships, and Darnell has built wonderful relationships throughout the community,” Moran said. “Darnell is everywhere and his enthusiasm for serving his community is infectious. When he gets involved, whether it’s with the arts or mentoring or an education initiative, he makes a difference. I look forward to working closely with Darnell next year and working with him as Chamber Chair in 2017.”
Smith has served on the board of directors for the Cathedral Arts Project, the Otis Smith Kids Foundation, the PACE Center for Girls in Jacksonville, Ritz Theatre & Museum and the YMCA as well as the Florida Blue Foundation, Florida Blue’s philanthropic affiliate.
Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Florida State University. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the Advanced HR Executive Program at the University of Michigan.
The remainder of the 2016 JAX Chamber Board of Directors will be finalized next month.
About JAX Chamber
The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to live, work and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.