GRAND BLANC — The Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) Board of Directors has unanimously approved hiring Leigh LaForest as president of the Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce effective Monday, April 12.
A graduate of Grand Blanc High School, LaForest brings Chamber of Commerce, local government, and small business ownership experience to her new role.
LaForest leaves her position as the Partnership Development manager for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (FGCC).
While working at FGCC, she was responsible for new member acquisition and retention of its 1000 members, creating strong relationships with community partners, and consistently exceeded dues revenue goals.
She also was responsible for non-dues revenue and successfully managed innovative programs instigated during the pandemic to support local businesses.
LaForest was a city council member for the City of Davison through September of last year.
From 2004 through 2018, she co-owned and managed a professional youth sports photography business and was a nationally-recognized speaker in the photography industry.
LaForest is a member of Gen Forward and Genesee Valley Rotary Club, and is a certified tourism ambassador.
Ed Lee, owner of Cyberlink Computing, LLC, and chairman of the board for the GBCC, said, “The chamber was seeking a strategic leader that is passionate about Grand Blanc and all it has to offer, and can envision the potential for what can be done in the community.
“LaForest fits the criteria. She knows many of the community leaders and will listen and engage those she has yet to meet. She brings a variety of valuable experiences to our chamber. The board will be engaging in strategic planning in the coming months, and we are ready to make the Grand Blanc Chamber one of the premiere chambers in the nation.”
LaForest added, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the current and future members of the Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce to create and implement their plans for making Grand Blanc a city that is an ideal place to live and work.
“I am ready to work to help visualize success and identify innovative, effective strategies for achieving it. My main goals are to support the small businesses in Grand Blanc, partner with neighboring chambers in the region, and to build a stronger, more robust community.”
The GBCC conducted a nationwide search and received credentials from 130 candidates. Eighteen percent were Grand Blanc residents. Twenty-four candidates were interviewed. The top candidates went through three interviews along with a personality profile and complete background checks.
“We did a complete and thorough process to find the best candidate for this important position,” Lee explained. “We hope everyone will welcome LaForest to the position.” — L.R.