As expected, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce on Friday picked Sacramento Metro Chamber chief executive officer Matt Mahood as its new leader.
The San Jose chamber said in a statement that Mahood, 45, would take his new position in July. Chamber officials cited his leadership of the Sacramento chamber's annual “Cap-to-Cap” lobbying trip to Washington, D.C. and aggressive efforts to strengthen the organization financially.
"I've known Matt for 10 years, and he has experience leading a regional chamber," said outgoing San Jose Chamber CEO Pat Dando, who headed the 2,000-member organization for seven years.
Like others, Dando cited Mahood's leadership in Sacramento of a corporate effort to raise $10 million in sponsorship pledges to keep the city's NBA team in town for at least another year while backers of a new arena look for a way to finance construction.
Mahood also won praise from Nanci Williams, a former San Jose chamber official and co-founder of Orloff/Williams & Co., a San Jose marketing firm.
"He's a very impressive, articulate person," she said. "If I was to choose someone out of Central Casting to represent the Silicon Valley business community, he would be it."
Mahood has said part of the appeal of the job is getting back to the Bay Area, where his mother and sisters still live. A graduate of California State University, East Bay in Hayward, Mahood worked for FedEx and the startup grocery-delivery company Webvan before coming to Sacramento to head the chamber in 2002.
In an interview May 6, Mahood said he also looks forward to the challenge of working in the dynamic heart of California’s technology industry.
“There’s also a lot of potential in San Jose, Silicon Valley, to grow that chamber, to grow its influence,” Mahood said. “I’m ready for a new challenge both personally and professionally.”
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