The Porterville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has announced the impending resignation of long-time Chamber President/CEO Donnette Silva Carter, effective July 31st. Carter has served as the organization’s executive for over 17 years. Previously, she worked as executive director with the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society.
Carter will relocate to Hollister to join her husband, Joe, who began employment this spring as the director of safety, compliance and driver recruitment with Brent Redmond Transportation. After three years of living in different households, the Carters look forward to this next phase in their lives and new community. In Hollister, she will work for the 33rd District Agricultural Association, San Benito County Fair and Bolado Park Event Center as its new CEO and fair manager.
“Donnette has been a mainstay of the Porterville business environment and community for many years,” said Board Chair Milt Stowe. “She has been a wonderful representative for the greater Porterville area and leaves behind a long list of accomplishments. Her influence on and enthusiasm for the Porterville Chamber of Commerce will be missed, but we congratulate her on her new career and the chance to be with Joe full-time.”
Moving forward, at its June 20th meeting, the board of directors appointed Deborah Sierra as the new president/CEO, effective August 1, 2014.
“Deborah has been on staff at the chamber for three years as director of membership and special events,” noted Stowe. “With her local and other chamber experience, and her background in banking branch management, we look forward to having her in this position, and anticipate a fairly seamless transition for our organization and its members.”
In her tenure at the Porterville Chamber, Carter’s leadership, in partnership with the boards over the years, has doubled the organization’s membership to 700, significantly increased the financial resources, developed expanded programming, grown the city’s promotion and tourism, and built community support to a team of over 100 volunteers. She is recognized as a driving force behind the successful launch and 16-year sustainability of the Iris Festival, working with the event’s chairs and committees to annually welcome 30,000 attendees to a one-day street festival complete with over 200 vendors, amusements, entertainment stages, chili cook-off and Enspirit, Inc’s Festival of Colors Run.
Carter graduated from the four-year U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management program. She is a member and public relations chair of the Rotary Club of Porterville, sits on the board of the Central California Family Crisis Center, and has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Anne’s Parish Catholic Daughters and other organizations. Her professional affiliations include the Tulare County EDC Board, Porterville Unified School District Pathways P8 Coalition, Workforce Investment Board ECC, Sequoia Tourism Council, Porterville Employer Advisory Council, Central CA Chamber Alliance and several City of Porterville committee appointments. Additionally, she serves as vice chair of the Western Association of Chamber Executives Foundation Board, and is a member of the California Board of Directors for the Future Business Leaders of America.
“While I’m moving toward a wonderful new opportunity, it is indeed with a sad and heavy heart that I leave Porterville, the town I’ve called home for over a decade,” said Carter. “I care deeply for this community, the chamber, its members and our staff. Serving as Porterville Chamber president/CEO has truly been an honor and a joy. You will definitely see us back in town visiting events and people with whom we plan to continue connecting.”
“Donnette brings a strong background in marketing and public relations, fiscal, board, volunteer, event and staff management, government affairs, revenue generation, tourism promotion, and economic development,” said 33rd District Agricultural Association Board Chair Michael Cullinan. “The DAA Board feels she has the skill set needed to advance the 33rd District, San Benito County Fair and Bolado Park Event Center into the future.”