Cory has served as President and CEO of the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce in Oviedo, Florida, since 2007. Prior to that, he worked in the legislative field as a campaign consultant and legislative aide to several state legislators.
Cory received his B.A. degree in Political Science from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, and earned a J.D. degree from the Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. He and his and wife, Shannon, have two daughters.
He will take over as President of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce in January. Following the board’s vote, Chamber Chairman of the Board Tim Jackson made the following statement: “After 27 years of dedicated service to our chamber and community, Kathleen Munson is retiring and a new era is beginning with the hiring of Cory Skeates as our next President. We are excited to welcome Cory and his family to Lakeland, and look forward to his leadership. Cory’s political background and chamber experience will provide Lakeland with a new vision of advocacy in representing the interests of our business community.”
The announcement culminated a six-month search process conducted by an independent search committee led by past Chamber chairman Paul Noris. The search committee initially received 75 resumes in response to ads placed in state and national media outlets. After vetting the pool of candidates down to 20 candidates, Skype interviews were conducted and three candidates were selected to continue with the interview process. Over the past month, the search committee arranged for the candidates to interview with chamber and community stakeholders.
Based on their extensive interview process, the search committee voted to recommend that Cory Skeates be selected as the next President. In presenting the recommendation, Paul Noris stated that “Our search committee went through a diligent process to identify the best candidate for the Chamber President position. We are confident that Cory’s selection will be a good fit for him, for our Chamber, and our community. I look forward to his leadership as we strive to continue our Chamber’s long history of supporting the business community in Lakeland.”
Representing 1,700 member businesses in the Greater Lakeland area, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is ranked the second largest chamber in the Tampa Bay region by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. In 2009, the Chamber was awarded a Five-Star Accreditation rating by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The organization is currently undergoing its 2014 accreditation evaluation.
Upon hearing the announcement, Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson issued the following statement: “The Florida Chamber of Commerce congratulates the Lakeland Chamber for selecting Cory Skeates to lead Lakeland’s pro-jobs initiatives. On a personal note, I’d like to thank Kathleen Munson for her years of partnership and leadership as we’ve worked on issues that have made Florida, and Lakeland, more competitive.”