The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce has hired Wayne Burns as its new chief executive officer.
Burns replaces Jaene Miranda, who left the chamber earlier this year for the top job with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.
Burns’ appointment was announced last Thursday. He was introduced to chamber members at a luncheon held Monday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
“We look forward to working with Wayne as we continue to reposition this chamber and focus on business and drive value to our membership while having a regional impact on both advocacy and economic development,” Chamber Chairman Frank Gonzalez said.
Burns said he plans to help the chamber focus on a strategic plan that enhances value to its membership.
“People ask me what makes me most excited to have this opportunity in working for the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce,” Burns said. “In 2014, we have a great opportunity to collaborate together — the board of trustees, the members, the prospective members, our great staff and all of our partners — to work together to create a strategic framework for the Central Palm Beach County Chamber to start from the fantastic place we are today and elevate the chamber into new areas, provide services for small business and also open up our toolbox and resources for all of our member businesses.”
Burns said he plans to meet with members individually to see how they might help in the chamber’s future plans.
“We look forward to that in 2014,” he said. “Keep your eye on us, and many of you will be hearing from me. I’d like to meet with as many of you as possible, and I offer the opportunity for you to participate in helping us build the framework that will provide the underpinnings for the strategic plan… It’s about a member-driven, member-focused value proposition that we’ll roll out in 2014. That’s what excites me about being with you here today.”
Burns was president of Stratacon Global Institute (SGI), responsible for creating member-driven strategies and leading chambers of commerce in marketing strategies through complex governance, fundraising and finance challenges.
Formerly, he was assistant director of the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development, responsible for all aspects of economic development and oversight of contract awards to county-certified small businesses and federal disadvantaged business enterprise programs.
Burns also served as economic division manager and coordinator for the City of Plantation, where he was largely credited for bringing the collaboration needed to accelerate redevelopment along State Road 7.
While in Plantation, he won several awards and national recognition, and as a member of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance board, he was named economic developer and volunteer of the year for his leadership of the 31-city Partners Council.
Burns graduated with honors from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology and earned his master’s of business administration degree in international business.
Gonzalez cited Burns’ track record when announcing his selection. “He has considerable experience in chamber leadership, finance and fundraising, expertise in small business services and an award-winning track record in economic development,” Gonzalez said. “Our board of directors is excited to have Burns aboard.”
Gonzalez also thanked Interim CEO Mary Lou Bedford for leading the chamber through the transition time. “She really helped the chamber stay focused and have it run smoothly from an operations standpoint,” he said.
Bedford will remain with the chamber, serving as executive vice president.
ABOVE: New chamber CEO Wayne Burns. Photo by Tracey Benson