• Who We Are

  • The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce is a business leadership organization governed by a 32-member Board of Directors, run by a dynamite staff of 8, and supported by community investors. The Chamber advocates for the business interests of our community; connects members with the people and information they need to thrive; helps members save money and promotes a thriving economy and community.

  • 2018 Board of Directors

  • Ambassadors and Key Volunteers

    In addition to our Board of Directors, volunteers serve as Ambassadors to welcome new members to our Chamber as well as Chapel Hill Young Professionals (CHYP) Leadership Council.

    Alex NickodemAmbassador, CHYP Committee, Simplified Personal Driving
    Alicia Whitehurst, CHYP Leadership Council, The Franklin Hotel
    Amanda CasellaCHYP Leadership Council, Chapel Hill Service League
    Betsy BruckerCHYP Leadership Council, Armacell
    Brett BushnellEconomic Development and Public Policy Committee Chair, Tri Local Realty llc
    Chuck WhalenAmbassadorAflac
    Connolly Walker, CHYP Leadership Council, Ambassador, Pam Herndon, State Farm
    Dan Cunningham Jr., Ambassador, First Citizens Bank & Trust Company
    Fatimah PattersonCHYP Leadership Council, Wells Fargo
    Gregg Yurkovich, CHYP Leadership Council, Chapel Hill Family Chiropractic
    Irene Briggaman, Ambassador, Community Volunteer
    Jeffrey WehnerAmbassador, Business Consultant / Non Profit Partnership Program Advisor
    Jim McNeelyAmbassador, Servpro of South Durham and Orange County
    Katie Coleman WalkerAmbassador, Fidelity Bank
    Kelly Holcombe, CHYP Leadership Council, Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Leslie Weaver, Ambassador, WCHL and Chapelboro.com
    Mark Mill, CHYP Leadership Council, Pinnacle Financial Partners
    Nancy Williams, Ambassador, Carolina Capital Solutions
    Ray Canoy, Ambassdor, Transworld Business Advisors of Durham
    Ray SmithCHYP Leadership Council, Wells Fargo
    Ryan Blackwell, CHYP Leadership Council, Green Beagle Lodge

  • Our Staff

    Rebecca Dickenson
    Vice President for Membership
    (919) 357-9990 |rdickenson@carolinachamber.org 

    Rebecca leads the membership division and staff team delivering excellence in member retention, member recruitment, member programming, signature events, member benefits and services, and Chamber sponsorship and advertising sales.  Rebecca is a 2005 graduate from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Public Policy. For over a decade Rebecca has served and supported local businesses through consultative media marketing and sales, most recently at The Daily Tar Heel where Rebecca has served as the advertising director for nearly three years.  Prior to working at the DTH, Rebecca served six years as the advertising director at The Duke Chronicle and spent three years with Curtis Media.  

    Outside of work, Rebecca is the co-founder of Three Bean Properties, an avid podcast listener, and a mom of 2 young girls.


    Amy Grau
    Member Engagement and Executive Assistant to the President
    (919) 357-9977 |agrau@carolinachamber.org 

    Amy joined the Chamber team in 2015 with a goal of delivering an outstanding customer service experience.  She supports members and the Chamber leadership team through research, problem solving and marketing/communications support.  Amy loves the creativity and speedy pace of her work at the Chamber. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Graphic Design from Lehigh University (the ones who beat Duke). Amy lives in Chapel Hill, in a home built with love by her husband Jeff, and is the incredibly proud mom of Rachel and Alison.


    Nicholas Cameron Johnson
    Director of Member Programs & Engagement
    (919) 357-9989 | njohnson@carolinachamber.org | LinkedIn  

    Nick moved to Chapel Hill in 2008 as an undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. He now lives in the area as a resident and has joined the Chamber as its newest staffer. In his current role with the Chamber, Nick manages the website, social media, and electronic communications; and acts as first point of contact at the office, answering questions and providing assistance to staff, members, and guests. He is also a photographer and has done freelance, contract, and volunteer work for various local businesses and non-profits. His hobbies include running, hiking trails, trying new cuisine, traveling, and just spending quaity time with family and friends. 



    Katie R. Loovis, MPA
    Vice President for External Affairs
    (919) 696-0781 (m) | kloovis@carolinachamber.org
    Twitter | LinkedIn
    Katie joined the Chamber in September 2017 as Vice President for External Affairs. She directs the External Relations Division of the Chamber encompassing government relations, advocacy, public policy, community relations, and external communications. Her career in public service includes influential roles in government (The White House), business (GSK), and the nonprofit sector (Achieving the Dream). Globally, Katie is Secretary of the Board of Directors for MyGoodDeed (the organization that leads 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance) and an Advisory Board Member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center. 
    Locally, Katie is a Rotarian (East Chapel Hill Rotary Club), a volunteer with the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties, appointee to the Orange County Parks and Recreation Council, and a Director of the Board for Durham Tech Foundation. She is a graduate of Leadership Chapel Hill-Carrboro (2017) and current participant in Leadership North Carolina (Class XXV). Katie earned an MPA and BA in Communication Studies with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she captained the UNC Women’s Lacrosse Team. There is an endowed scholarship in her name. Read the hiring announcement


    Photo credit: Kevin Seifert PhotographyAaron Martin Nelson, IOM
    President & CEO
    (919) 967-7077 | anelson@carolinachamber.org
    Twitter | Facebook

    Aaron joined the Chamber as President and CEO in 2001 after working at his alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill, as Coordinator of Local Relations. In his role at the Chamber, Aaron serves a membership network of more than 1200 enterprises employing more than 80,000 people.  In support of the Chamber’s mission to build a sustainable community where business thrives, Aaron is a successful advocate for local business and community interests.  Aaron also acts as Executive Director for the Partnership for a Sustainable Community, the Chamber’s charitable economic and community development arm. Aaron has served on the Board of Directors for more than 20 local, state and national nonprofits.  Currently, he serves on the boards of the national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Carolina Club.  In 2011, Aaron co-founded the national Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy of which he now chairs. 

    As a Leadership Chapel Hill-Carrboro Fellow and a Ford Foundation Fellow for Regional Sustainable Development, Aaron has deep roots in and commitment to his community. Aaron speaks both nationally and internationally on economic and community development strategy but what he loves most is his local and regional collaboration that helps keep the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community one of the best places in the world to live, work, play and raise a family. A 1997 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in philosophy, Aaron also served as the elected student body president.  Aaron leaps at each day enjoying all greater Chapel Hill has to offer with his wife, Sonja, and their children, Maxwell and Atlee.


    Brian Rowe
    Chief Financial Officer
    (919) 357-9975 | browe@carolinachamber.org

    Brian joined the Chamber in March 2013.


    Photo credit: Alicia Stemper Justin Simmons
    Vice President and Chief of Staff
    (919) 357-9982 | jsimmons@carolinachamber.org
    Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

    If you're looking to get the most out of your membership, lower the cost of doing business, explore the Chamber's international export services, or learn more about Chamber management and operations, Justin is your go-to contact at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber. Justin joined the Chamber team in 2011 and has served in his current capacity as chief of staff since 2014. His previous work experience in the retail and service industries, communications and administrative support for small businesses, accounting and communications support with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and running a local non-profit make him a well-rounded resource for our community. He is most excited to see businesses, organizations, and individuals collaborating to meet community needs and make this an even better place to live, work, and play. Justin has an undergraduate degree in business administration/marketing from Glenville State College in West Virginia, and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky.  Outside the Chamber, you may find Justin with his wife Jeanine and two daughters, Riley and Avery, taking a stroll on Franklin Street, enjoying a meal in any of the great local restaurants, or paddling canoes and kayaks across Jordan Lake. Connecting with people, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the outdoors are among his favorite parts of life.


    Vanessa Watson
    Member Relations Specialist
    (919) 967-7075 | vwatson@carolinachamber.org 

    Vanessa fell in love with Chapel Hill in 2013, just in time to apply and be accepted into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is a recent graduate who is looking forward to learning even more about the community in a non-student capacity.

    During her four years at UNC, she had the privilege of working for the UNC General Alumni Association as the Student Programs Intern. Vanessa was the closest she will be to her childhood dream of being a football coach through the opportunity to work for UNC Football as a Student Office Assistant. She continued her passion for learning about different sports by completing the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program.  

    She is excited to be a part of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce team. She is looking forward to assisting Chamber members, community residents, and visitors. Stop by to talk with Vanessa about sports, Broadway shows, reality TV and her time at Carolina.