• 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

     

    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 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.

     


    Amy Grau

    Director of Communications and Executive Coordinator
    (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, marketing, and communications support. Amy loves the creativity and speedy pace of her work at The Chamber. She earned 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.

     


    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 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

     



    Photo credit: Kevin Seifert Photography
    Aaron 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, 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: Kevin Seifert PhotographyBrian Rowe

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

    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
    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

    Event Coordinator
    (919) 357-9989
    vwatson@carolinachamber.org 
    LinkedIn

    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 Chamber 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. 


     

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