Director of Business Development, Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce

John is undoubtedly British. Born near Nottingham, England (better known for Robin Hood!), he moved to Scotland at an early age where he developed a passion for foreign languages and travel. As a Masters Graduate of Edinburgh University, he left his studies to work with The Distillers Company Limited, better known as brand-owners of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky.

His language proficiency proved very useful in his early rookie days. Since he was one of very few in Scotland in those days that spoke both Spanish and Portuguese fluently, his career was catapulted when he was given the responsibility to manage the distribution of all Johnnie Walker family of products in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the good old days of Pan American, he flew the world and visited every market of the region on a frequent basis.

As his career progressed and his success grew, he became Managing Director of Domecq International, based in Madrid, Spain.

In 1999, John moved over to the Florida’s shores, when offered a newly-created posting working with the British Embassy. At the time, the UK government was looking for a commercially-focused entrepreneur to show British businesses how operating through Florida could open up new business opportunities in the Latin American and Caribbean regions. He was highly successful in bringing missions to Florida and attracting UK businesses to establish a more permanent base in Florida – thus creating jobs and wealth here too

As his posting was coming to an end, Hurricane Charley hit. John had family ties here in Punta Gorda, so he decided to stay and took a year off to rebuild the family home here. Then came the most difficult decision – go back to Europe or stay. He decided to stay and was selected as President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce in June of 2006.

Since taking over the reigns at the Chamber, he was built a strong and vibrant team at the Chamber that is focused on business development, networking, unifying the issues facing the local business community and interacting with local authorities in working out methods to improve the overall business environment in the City. His enthusiasm and energy are most noticeable – even more than his quaint British accent, which draws supporters to his cause in their droves! The PG Chamber is experiencing a boom. Membership is rapidly increasing. The numbers that attend the Chamber’s regular functions are vastly up on previous years. New assistance programs are now in place to assist our local business community. He has got the Chamber involved in many new projects, assisting Team Punta Gorda in the beautification of the City, planning high-profile community events that bring both old and new visitors to the area but most importantly working with local businesses to ensure that they survive what is undoubtedly a tough time for them, at a time of increased taxes, impact fees, property evaluations etc. etc.

The Chamber is John’s passion. However, in his limited spare time, he is an avid reader, gardener (what Brit isn’t?), rugby fan, sun-worshipper and retail therapy assistant! He has made Punta Gorda his new home and feels a very strong allegiance to the people of this City.

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Charlotte County Hospitality Association

P.O. Box 381043
Murdock, FL
  941-743-1900
  941-764-4932
  ccha@charlottecountyhospitality.com

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Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau

18500 Murdock Circle B-104
Port Charlotte, FL
  941-743-1900
  941-764-4932
  info@charlotteharbortravel.com

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