Robert Paugh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, has announced the appointment of Dori Stone to the position of President of the chamber. Stone will assume her new role effective August 6. She replaces Penny Chandler, who joined the Chamber in 1995 and retired in May 2019 from her executive position as President and CEO, bringing to a close a 37-year career in Chamber management.
An executive search committee, with the professional guidance of HR Dynamics, has been diligently vetting candidates since Chandler’s retirement announcement in November 2017. The position was posted in numerous national association websites, as well as job posting sites. A key factor in the hiring of Stone was her in-depth understanding of Florida economics, according to Paugh.
“The Board of Directors and search committee exercised due diligence in finding just the right candidate as our new President. Dori Stone brings with her an understanding of Florida economics and business growth that we believe will benefit our local businesses, economic development and tourism,” said Paugh. “Our county’s business and tourism sectors are growing and ever-changing, and we believe that Dori is the person to continue our forward momentum.”
Stone is only the eighth Chamber official to hold an executive position since the Chamber’s founding in the early 1920’s, with E.J. Sellerd being the first executive from 1924 to 1926.
Stone comes to Vero Beach from Winter Park, Florida, where she served as Planning and Community Development Director for the City of Winter Park for the past 8-1/2 years. In her role, she was responsible for both the Economic Development/CRA and Planning Divisions with a budget of $4 million. She has several notable accomplishments during her tenure in Winter Park which appealed to the search committee, including coordinating an award-winning citywide vision, updating the city’s comprehensive plan, rewriting the city’s historic preservation ordinance, and the installation of the city’s first complete street project redevelopment, among others.
Her creation and implementation of a target industry employment incentive program for new business, which yielded two corporate headquarters, was of particular interest to the search committee given the fact that the Chamber is responsible for economic development for the county.
A graduate of Florida Southern College, Stone received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Central Florida. Her professional associations include American Planning Association, American Institute of Certified Planners, Florida Redevelopment Association, International Economic Development Council, and Urban Land Institute.
The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business organization located in Vero Beach. The Chamber provides a wide variety of business services and benefits for its members and advocates on behalf of the local business community to create an environment where all businesses will thrive and succeed. The Chamber also provides tourism and economic development services for Vero Beach and Indian River County. www.indianriverchamber.com