Jerry Gibbs, the owner of in downtown Maplewood, was selected to lead the 's Board of Directors next year.
Gibbs replaces outgoing president Sean O'Gorman of the law offices of O'Gorman and Sandroni. His one-year term as president of the board begins in January. Executive Director Jeannine Beck called Gibbs the "obvious choice."
"He has his hands in just about everything and is a stellar example of what a board member should be," Beck said. "And an excellent representation of the Maplewood business community."
According to Beck, Gibbs' lengthy chamber resume includes:
- 2009 Businessperson of the Year
- Marketing Committee Chairman
- Christmas Tree Walk committeeman
- Strategic Plan committeeman
- Ambassador committeeman
"I just feel that if you're going to be serving on the board, you've got to be helpful and active," Gibbs said.
Gibbs' roots in the community are entwined with the roots of his own family tree. He started working at J & E's Office City—a shop that provides business printing and office supplies—for his father. Gibbs' son Matt started working at the store in 2003.
"I came to work here right out of high school with my father," Jerry Gibbs said. "Didn't have anything else better to do at the time, so here I am."
The goal of the chamber is to help business owners network, solve problems and work together to use events and promotions to drive business into Maplewood.
The president—which is a different position from executive director—heads the executive committee, runs the board meetings and addresses public issues, Beck said. She said her role as executive director is to provide continuity for the board, and to work with the president on implementing the board's ideas.
"He's the face of the chamber," Beck said. "At any of our events, he will be speaking on behalf of the chamber."
Gibbs already has some big ideas for 2011. He wants to encourage more businesses to participate in the chamber's member exchange program—which allows members to give each other discounts and deals at one another's businesses—and hopes to update the chamber's website.
He wants the website to offer more interactivity to chamber members, which would allow for the ability to RSVP to chamber events, for example.
In the meantime, he's worked to prepare the chamber's annual . The walk, which features a tree lighting ceremony and open houses for businesses, will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday.