MADISON — After conducting a national search, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce board of directors found its ideal candidate in its own backyard. Local leader Zach Brandon has been named president of the Chamber. Brandon, 39, replaces Jennifer Alexander, who is retiring after nearly nine years.
“Our community needs tenacious leaders who put it all on the line to close the gap between what our region is and what it can be as a true player on the national stage,” said David Stark, Chamber board chair and president of Stark Company Realtors. “Zach is this type of leader – the right leader, with the right experience at the right time. He understands and shares our passion for economic development and a strong business voice.”
Early in his career, Brandon saw the region’s potential, and in 1998 located a business in downtown Madison. As an entrepreneur, small business owner and the father of three, Brandon saw firsthand the need to enhance the area’s business climate. Brandon has worked toward this goal, first as a three-term City of Madison alder, then as Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce under Gov. Jim Doyle, and most recently as the head of the Wisconsin Angel Network, which promotes early stage investment in Madison and beyond.
“Greater Madison is more than the name of our region. It must be our collective goal: A Greater Madison.” Brandon said. “This region, its businesses and its workers are second to none, and the Chamber will be energetic in telling our story domestically and internationally. We will proactively fill the economic development policy vacuum and be aggressive in the pursuit of a climate that recruits, retains and grows employers and the jobs they create.”
Brandon, who has represented Wisconsin internationally, had high praise for outgoing president Alexander citing a Chinese proverb. “The Chinese have this saying: ‘While drinking the water, remember who dug the well,’” said Brandon. “Jennifer has built the strong foundation from which we will launch this intrepid effort.”
About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber is nearly 1,400 businesses working together as a strong voice for enlightened economic growth in the Greater Madison region. We serve the interests of all our members, ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 4,000 employees. The Chamber is committed to improving the community by growing healthy businesses. More information about the Chamber can be found at www.greatermadisonchamber.com.