Chamber creates foundation to serve community


The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce has announced the creation of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to serve the entire community through leadership opportunities, workforce education and economic development programs.

The Chamber established the foundation to expand its programming and culture of philanthropy beyond the business community. The foundation’s primary focus areas will include:

  • Leadership St. Johns: The premier professional leadership development program in St. Johns County, Leadership St. Johns has fostered the growth of hundreds of business and government employees for more than 20 years. The foundation seeks to create a permanent scholarship fund to support Leadership St. Johns.
  • Disaster relief: The foundation will create an emergency relief fund for businesses to support recovery from natural disasters or economic downturns.
  • Workforce development: Through partnerships with local educational institutions, the foundation will support the development of a highly skilled workforce and the creation of an employment pipeline of local workers for St. Johns County businesses.

“The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a natural extension of the chamber’s work to promote a vibrant, diverse business environment in St. Johns County,” said Isabelle Renault, chamber president and CEO. “The foundation opens new avenues for programs and philanthropic work to make a difference in the community at large as we work to strengthen our business community.”

The foundation will be led by a board of directors comprised of business leaders in the county. The founding members include Board Chair Cecil Gibson (Ameris Bank), Vice Chair Orville Dothage (Northrop Grumman), Secretary/Treasurer Erika Alba (Woolsey/Morcom), Nancy Dering Mock (Nancy Dering Mock Consulting) and Chamber President and CEO Isabelle Renault.

“The community will benefit tremendously from the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Foundation,” Gibson said. “By offering education and leadership development, along with the relief fund, the foundation’s work will create opportunities for both individuals and businesses to thrive in St. Johns County.”

The chamber invites its members and the community to celebrate the newly established foundation at a fundraiser kickoff event at 5:30 p.m. April 25 at bestbet St. Augustine, 800 Marketplace Drive, St. Augustine. The event will feature a poker tournament and reception; sponsorships and tickets are available by contacting the St. Johns County Chamber.

More information about the foundation is available at