New Chamber official aims to create jobs in all areas

Source: The Gainesville Sun

Source: The Gainesville Sun

By Anthony Clark | The Gainesville Sun

Susan Davenport was not looking to leave the Austin (Texas) Chamber of Commerce when Tim Giuliani called to recruit her to his management team. But she was intrigued by his vision for economic development as president and CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. And the more she looked into what Gainesville had to offer, the more it piqued her interest.

What she found was a business community committed to capitalizing on existing strengths to become a hub for innovative companies, a Chamber with the structure to execute the business community's ideas, and a state focused on job creation.

“Then there's an underlying energy in a community that you can feel,” Davenport said. “It's a bit of an intangible in ways. And I felt that here.”

Davenport started eight weeks ago as vice president of economic development at the Gainesville Chamber and Council for Economic Outreach after serving several roles at the Austin Chamber, lastly as the senior vice president of global technology strategies.

“I had been there 12 years and loved growing programs,” she said.

In her various roles over the years, Davenport worked on business recruitment, started a business retention and expansion program, coordinated a regional tech startup program for the state and started a program for tech executives to support entrepreneurs.


Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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