President and CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
Tiffany Esposito graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2009, what she calls a “horrible” time to look for a job.
But it didn’t take her long to find her place, and her career: chambers of commerce.
“I had no idea chambers was what I wanted to do,” says Esposito, “but I fell in love with what chambers could do.”
Esposito says the connections with business owners and working to help them grow their companies is a big motivator at the helm of the Bonita Springs Chamber. That’s where she started her chamber career, in 2009 as communications manager. She was promoted several times, left for a stint at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and came back to Bonita Springs in June, when she was named president and CEO.
The Bonita Springs Chamber has eight employees and about 1,000 members. Esposito is feeling her way around her new position. One long-term goal is to build up the Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council, an arm of the chamber that helps recruit new businesses to town and assist existing ones with expansion. Esposito also wants to work with city officials in Bonita Springs about growth issues that impact the business community.
“I love my job,” says Esposito. “I get to talk to people all day and help them solve problems.”
— Mark Gordon
Name: Tiffany Esposito
City of residence: Fort Myers
Twitter handle: n/a
Employer: Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
Title: President & CEO
Birthplace: Fort Myers
Years on the Gulf Coast: 29
Marital status/children: Married, no children
Alma mater: Florida Gulf Coast University
Best place to network: Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
Coolest business experience: I was fortunate enough to take 40 people on a tour to China in 2012. It was an educational tour about China’s economy with a tourism twist. It was a once in a lifetime trip for me and I’m glad I had the opportunity to have that experience.
Messy desk or clean workspace: CLEAN…always clean
Best business lesson ever learned: It is all about the people. You can have the best business model and product but if you don’t have the right people you won’t make it very far. The employees and the people that run the business are what separates the successful from the mediocre businesses. I believe it is important to invest in your employees and engage them in the mission and passion of the organization. With the right passion and people any business can not only succeed but truly thrive and prosper.
A website that makes your job easier: Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives – acce.org. It is an amazing resource for chambers and associations to find professional development opportunities, share information, benchmark your organization and find creative inspiration.
Community group you’re most involved with: The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. In my role my job is to be out in the community and engaging in the regional activities so it is hard to separate what is work and what isn’t. I love my job and the Chamber mission so all of my time, work or personal, is dedicated to making Southwest Florida the best place to do business, create a home and enjoy life.
Favorite off-hours activity: Spending time with my family. There are 13 of us in my immediate family and we all live within 10 miles of each other.
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: My paternal grandparents. They passed away before I had a chance to meet them.
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: I would like to think I would be in another community oriented role. I could see myself working at a college or university as a career counselor or academic advisor.
Top item on your bucket list: Visit Australia and hold a koala.
Skill you’d like to learn: I would like to learn another language and become a better photographer.
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Sandra Bullock
If I had a magic wand I’d: put it away. The Quidditch match is about to start.