Charles Wood has been named President and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Janelle Reilly, Board Chair, announced today.

“Charles was the right choice, having proven his leadership abilities and economic development acumen both during his interim role as President and CEO and his overall tenure with the Chattanooga Chamber,” said Janelle Reilly, Board Chair. 

In this role, Wood will oversee programs and services of the Chattanooga Chamber and Chamber Foundation.

“I am honored to have been chosen,” Wood said. “Chattanooga has been my home for a while now and as the voice for business in our area, I am thrilled to be able to share what makes our community a prosperous place. We will continue our work focused squarely on building a thriving Chattanooga region.” 

“I’d also like to extend thanks to our talented team members and to both Boards of Directors for their work toward our 5-year Chattanooga Climbs goals,” Wood said.

“We heartily endorse and look forward to Charles’ leadership in this role that is so critical to our growth and planning as a community,” Reilly said. “I’d also like to thank our Search Committee, so ably led by Tom White. We look forward to working on the important programs that will help Chattanooga distinguish itself from competitors for capital investment and talent attraction, as outlined in our Chattanooga Climbs strategic plan.”

White, who recently retired from UNUM and who led the Search Committee work, also pointed out the many years of service and experience Wood brings to the role.  

“We offer congratulations to Charles and we’re confident that his leadership will move us forward with great focus and intent. He has a keen eye for measurable outcomes and for benchmarking our work against competitors,” White said.

Wood joined the Chattanooga Chamber in 2012 and has worked alongside several Chattanooga City government and Hamilton County government administrations. He led the creation of the Chattanooga Chamber’s first economic and talent development strategy and supported the creation of more than 14,000 jobs and billions of dollars of investment in the Chattanooga region. Prior to joining the Chattanooga Chamber he held positions at chambers of commerce in Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama as well as economic development positions in Texas and Mississippi.

Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce:  Greater Chattanooga’s leading business association and economic development organization. Founded in 1887, the Chattanooga Chamber is one of the first 40 chambers in the United States. Membership includes some 1,800 companies, employing an estimated 100,000 people. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has accredited the Chattanooga Chamber with five stars, the highest possible.

Chattanooga Chamber Foundation: Separate but related entity established in 1969 for economic development, which it carries out through Chattanooga Climbs, a public-private partnership.

Charles Wood, President and CEO, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce