WESLEY CHAPEL — Sheri Goldberg has been on board as head of the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce for less than two weeks, but she and other chamber organizers are about to stage a mega event Saturday.
The event, the chamber's first Art in the Park, was already in the works well before Goldberg signed on as executive director. Now, though, it's up to her and other organizers to pull it off.
Last month, Jason Wilson stepped down as chamber director to launch his own public relations company. That left a vacancy and more than 52 people vying for the chamber's top slot.
In the end, Goldberg was picked to lead the chamber, a decade-old organization comprising nearly 550 local retailers, schools, car dealerships and home-based businesses, Goldberg says.
"We chose Sheri for her dynamic personality, her love of the area and her love for the chamber," said chamber treasurer and hiring committee member Cindy Fleming. "She just had the total package."
Previously, Goldberg, 40, was a self-employed real estate agent and investor. She has been a proud chamber member since moving to Meadow Pointe in Wesley Chapel about three years ago, she says.
Recently, Goldberg ended her term as the "deputy mayor" of Wesley Chapel, an honorary role she won for raising big bucks for the chamber.
And she has served on a few chamber committees and as president of the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club in past years. Now, Goldberg calls her newfound chamber role "a new career."
As executive director, Goldberg will be in charge of the chamber's membership, fundraising and event planning.
"I think every new executive director brings fresh ideas," Goldberg said.
And she already has a few ideas up her sleeve.
Chamber Campus, a series of business seminars, is in the early planning stages, she says. But Goldberg is hesitant to reveal too many ideas just yet.
She'll certainly get her feet wet with the upcoming Art in the Park.
It's a St. Petersburg Times-sponsored exhibition of local art that includes painting, photography, sculpture and jewelry. Folks can jam to live blues and jazz performers Nunz at Night, Brotherhood, Alan Brenia and Renegade.
Winning artwork from local schools will be on display, too. And kids can enter a cookie-decorating contest Saturday.
About her new chamber role, Goldberg says, "My door is always open. I believe that ideas from everyone will strengthen our chamber."