Following an extensive nationwide search, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce announced today that Carl Blackstone will assume the role of president and CEO beginning March 24.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected to lead the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and serve this thriving community,” said Blackstone. “I am excited about the opportunity ahead to make the region more competitive and help align businesses with the resources they need to grow and expand, ultimately bringing new jobs into our community.”
With a strong background in public policy, government relations and strategic communications, Blackstone brings a wealth of experience in working with small and large businesses, as well as professional trade associations on local, state and federal levels. As government relations advisor for the clients of Copper Dome Strategies, LCC, a subsidiary of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A, he assisted clients with legislative and other governmental actions before the South Carolina General Assembly, South Carolina Governor’s Office and executive branch of the state of South Carolina. He also worked closely with the members and staff of the South Carolina U.S. Congressional delegation.
“We had many strong candidates from throughout the country, but Carl’s experience and expertise, combined with his extensive knowledge of our region’s current and future needs stood out among the rest,” said Holt Chetwood, chair of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. “The search committee, along with the Chamber’s Executive Committee, is confident Blackstone is the best choice to continue the mission and work of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. His skill-set and experience is exactly what is required to keep the Columbia Chamber and the business community on its current path of economic success and growth.”
Prior to joining Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, Blackstone served as senior legislative advisor to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford where he was the governor’s liaison to the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives. Previously, Blackstone worked as the manager of state government relations for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and district field manager for Mark Sanford when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The Chamber’s work is vital to the region’s business community and I look forward to working with the Chamber’s membership, board, volunteers and staff to continue to promote the interests and livelihood of local business,” states Blackstone.
As an active member in the community, Blackstone currently serves as a member of the Riverbanks Society, the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital board of directors and a member of First Presbyterian Church. He is also a graduate of Leadership South Carolina. Blackstone received his degree in business administration from College of Charleston.
Blackstone will succeed Ike McLeese, who served the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia region for more than 19 years.
To learn more about the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce visit us online at columbiachamber.com.