AUSTIN, Texas — The region’s two leading business advocacy organizations today announced new leaders for the next iteration of the relationship between the Austin Chamber of Commerce and Opportunity Austin. Today’s announcement builds on the nearly 20 years of success of the two organizations collaborating to grow the region.
Jeremy Martin, currently interim COO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, will become the new, permanent president and CEO on June 26. Gary Farmer will serve as interim CEO of Opportunity Austin while a search for a permanent leader is conducted.
Historically, the two organizations have been led by one president and CEO. The interim CEO of the Austin Chamber and Opportunity Austin, Kerry Hall will continue leading the Austin Chamber until June 26.
“It has been a privilege to lead both organizations as they have worked to make Central Texas an economic powerhouse,” Hall said. “The growth of the Austin region has necessitated a new path forward, and both organizations will benefit from their own dedicated CEO. I am excited about the future of the two organizations working to continue strengthening our region’s economy.”
In May, the Opportunity Austin Board of Directors voted to choose its own leadership. With a dedicated leader for each organization, the Austin Chamber and Opportunity Austin can deepen unique areas of expertise but will continue to have a shared services agreement to provide efficiencies for each group.
The Chamber is dedicated to the success of its members and will continue to be the voice of business in Austin. The Austin Chamber advocates for a strong business climate at all levels of government, creates unique and informative programming for members, promotes corporate philanthropy through Austin Gives, shares best practices through the annual intercity visit, and provides resources to help members run and grow their businesses by convening the business owners council.
“Working with Austin’s business leaders has been an honor throughout my career,” Martin said. “I am excited to continue serving the Chamber and its members by working with our passionate board and staff. I look forward to continued collaboration with Opportunity Austin.”
Opportunity Austin, governed by the Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation, has created more than 600,000 jobs since its inception in 2004. The organization will lead regional economic development efforts and focus on the strategy to continue to move the region forward during this tremendous time of growth. Opportunity Austin will collaborate with regional partners on industry diversification, workforce development and infrastructure needs to continue successful business recruitment and retention.
“The Central Texas region is an economic engine for Texas and the country, and increasingly becoming a global destination for talent and companies alike,” Farmer said. “Our work does not stop here. We will continue to create jobs for families and strengthen our regional economy with the ongoing support from Opportunity Austin investors who have been integral to the success we have achieved.”
Martin has been with the Austin Chamber of Commerce since 2004, serving in several key roles with diverse responsibilities within the senior leadership team. He has provided executive leadership support for Opportunity Austin and has led advocacy efforts to mobilize community support for significant job creation agreements and regional infrastructure investments.
Farmer is president of Heritage Title Company of Austin, Inc., a commercially oriented title insurance agency operating throughout the major markets of Texas. He is involved in various civic and charitable endeavors, including being the founder of the Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation in 2003; co-founder of the Real Estate Council; and the past chair of the Take on Traffic Initiative. He currently serves as chairman of the Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation, Opportunity Austin 4.0 Campaign, and co-chair of the Waller Creek Conservancy Capital Campaign.
About the Austin Chamber
The Austin Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership organization that helps people live, work and thrive in Austin. The Chamber invests in a broad range of programs that build and support Austin’s diverse business community. The Chamber is the voice of business at all levels of government. Its vision is for Austin to have the country’s most prosperous community. To learn more, visit austinchamber.com.
About Opportunity Austin
Opportunity Austin is the economic development initiative aimed at fostering job-creating investment in the five-county Central Texas region. Top priorities include boosting economic diversification to proactively strengthen the economy, deepening the talent pool through development and attraction, and keeping the Greater Austin region attractive to entrepreneurs, business leaders, and site selectors through advocacy on issues such as a comprehensive regional transportation system and regional collaboration. Since 2004, Opportunity Austin has helped bring more than 600,000 total jobs to the Austin region. Learn more about Opportunity Austin here.