• Board & Staff

  • The Chamber is governed by a 34-member Board of Directors, run by a dynamite staff of eight, and supported by dozens of volunteers. Together with nearly 1,000 member enterprises, we advocate for the business interests of our community, connect members with the people and information they need to thrive, promote a thriving economy and community, and help members save money, 

  • 2019 Board of Directors

  • Our Staff


    Jackson Bradford

    Member Engagement Specialist
    (919) 967-7075


    Jackson is ready to serve our business and non-profit members as well as our community. At the heart of the command center of The Chamber, Jackson is likely to be the first person you see when you arrive, or the first voice you hear on the phone. As the Member Engagement Specialist, he is delivering excellent communications and events focused on connecting our members with the people and information they need to thrive. 

    A graduate of East Carolina University (ECU) with a BS in Communications, Jackson brings a professional influence to The Chamber's print, digital and in-person member engagement. Contact Jackson for creative marketing ideas and ways to get involved with The Chamber. 

    Rebecca Dickenson

    Vice President for Membership
    (919) 357-9990


    Rebecca leads the membership division delivering excellence in member retention, member recruitment, 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 more than 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 two young girls.

    Katie R. Loovis, MPA

    Vice President for External Affairs
    (919) 696-0781 (m)
    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 key 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 on the Board of Directors for Durham Tech Foundation and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, and is an appointee to the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness Leadership Council and the Orange County Local Reentry Council. She volunteers with the NC Study Center and the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties, and is a former Rotarian (East Chapel Hill Rotary Club).

    Katie is a graduate of Leadership Chapel Hill-Carrboro (2017), Leadership North Carolina (2018), and Chapel Hill Peoples Academy (2018). She 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


    Aaron Martin Nelson, IOM

    President & CEO
    (919) 967-7077
    Twitter | Facebook


    Aaron joined The Chamber as President and CEO in 2001 after working at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as Coordinator of Local Relations. In his role at the Chamber, Aaron serves a membership network of nearly 1,000 enterprises employing more than 95,000 people throughout our region.  

    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, 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.

    Photo Credit: Amy Stern PhotographyBrian Rowe

    Chief Financial Officer
    (919) 357-9975

    Brian Rowe is Chief Financial Officer for The Chamber. He joined The Chamber in March 2013. 


    Photo credit: Alicia StemperJustin Simmons

    Vice President and Chief of Staff
    (919) 357-9982
    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

    Director of Progams and Communication
    (919) 357-9989

    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.  

    Vanessa joined the Chamber team in January 2018. Reach out to Vanessa if you have any questions regarding our member programming, signature events, if you want to host a ribbon cutting, or be added to one of our member newsletters. And if you're in the Chamber office, feel free to stop in and talk with Vanessa about sports, Broadway shows, reality TV and her time at Carolina.