April 17, 2013 – Don Long, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the St. Cloud Greater Osceola Chamber of Commerce announced today that Fred Hawkins, Jr. was selected unanimously by the chamber board of directors as the new full-time President of the local chamber. In making the announcement, Mr. Long shared that Mr. Hawkins will be responsible for driving the St. Cloud Chamber to the next level, building on the solid momentum achieved by former president David Lane’s leadership. Mr. Lane resigned in August 2012 after accepting an offer to serve as President of the Clemson, SC Chamber.
Hawkins was chosen from more than 40 nationwide applicants vying for the position. His selection culminates an extensive selection process that began in early February of this year. The new president was recommended to the chamber board of directors by a selection committee headed by Director Charlie Draper. Draper was voluntarily assisted by Mari Rains, UCF professor and professional human relations advisor. Draper informed the board that Ms. Rains was instrumental to ensuring that the process was impartial, consistent with laws and ethical procedures and resulted in the selection of the best possible candidate for the St. Cloud Chamber.
According to Draper, Hawkins is an accomplished leader, with a track record in financial/budgetary areas, has been active in the Chamber since 2000 and will be able to “hit the ground running”, requiring less of a learning curve than the other candidates. He has extensive local connections and contacts to increase membership and sponsorship; successful fundraising experience; is highly respected in the community and offered innovative and creative ideas for the Chamber’s growth during the interview process.
Hawkins is also presently serving on the Osceola County Commission as Commissioner for District 5. He and is family live in east Osceola County.
Mr. Long stated that Hawkins will begin his new post within the next few weeks and is looking forward to this new era for the chamber.