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Sandy Journal

South Valley Chamber names new president and CEO

Sep 02, 2020 03:56PM ● By Stephanie De Graw

Jay Francis is the new incoming South Valley Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

By Stephanie DeGraw | [email protected] 

The new leader for the South Valley Chamber of Commerce will carry on the tradition of relationship building. Jay Francis will be president and CEO, replacing Greg Summerhays, who led the Chamber for four years. Francis will begin his new position in early September. 

"I think it is important to provide opportunities to connect and share, not just business cards and contact information, but connect in a way where members can build relationships," Francis said. "The team at the Chamber has been doing a great job with this, and we need to see what we can do to take it to the next level."  

Summerhays will pursue a career in real estate with Chapman Richards & Associates. "It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my career to serve as the president and CEO of the South Valley Chamber. Our board of directors and Chamber team have created a strong regional chamber, providing great value and resources to our membership," Summerhays said. "Jay Francis is a perfect leader to continue the work we have achieved over the past four years. He will take the Chamber to new heights and continue to strengthen the South Valley business community."

The organization's mission is to connect with people, create and build sustainable programs that make a difference in the community. According to Francis, "It is also a great way to help businesses have a voice in the community."

Francis plans to glean input from businesses and community leaders if they would like any new programs. "New programs and strategies need to come from working with the businesses and community leaders to know what is required," Francis said. "This isn't about the titleā€¦This is about building a service organization that can help businesses, communities, and economic development focused on the southern part of Salt Lake County. 'Jay Francis' can't do that (alone), but working with a great board and community leaders can make a real difference. With COVID- 19, what we can provide and infuse is needed more than ever. This is not a time for us as businesses to pull back but to invest."

Francis was a member of the Chamber's board of directors for the past 12 years, including service as the board's chair and on the executive committee. He is familiar with the Chamber and the critical role it plays in the South Valley business community.

South Valley Chamber Board Chairman Rob Brough and executive vice president of marketing and communications at Zions Bank welcomed Francis. "Jay is a perfect leader to continue the work we have achieved over the past four years. He will continue to strengthen the business community in the South Valley. Summerhays was the right leader for the Chamber during his four years of service. As the Chamber moves into its next phase as a strong regional chamber, Jay is the right person to lead the Chamber into the immediate future."

Francis retired after 35 years with the Larry H. Miller Group in May 2019. "Jay is widely respected, admired, and trusted throughout the Salt Lake Valley and beyond," Brough said. "We are in the midst of a truly unprecedented time, and the challenges businesses face are unlike anything we've ever seen before. The South Valley Chamber is committed to evolving our programs and services to meet our member businesses' ever-changing needs."