CHAMBER PROFESSIONAL STAFF
Jason Brodeur worked for Procter & Gamble for nearly 12 years before starting his own healthcare consulting company. He has been President/CEO of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2013.
Jason graduated from University of Florida with a B.S. in Food & Resource Economics in 1997, and earned his MBA from UF in 2003. He was raised in Seminole County, and is a product of their outstanding school system.
He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010, and spent most of his legislative career as a health care policy and appropriations chairman. He also served as chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee where he focused on pension reform. Prior to his service in the House, Jason received gubernatorial appointments and served on the Medicaid Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee, the 18th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, and the Citizen’s Safety Task Force.
Jason has been recognized for his legislative achievements by many of the state’s leading advocacy groups. He has been named a distinguished advocate by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has also named Jason to their Honor Roll. The Associated Builders and Contractors have twice honored Jason as a “Friend of Free Enterprise,” and he was named as the Seminole County Bar Association and Legal Aid Society’s legislator of the year in 2012. Jason has also been named the Florida Legislator of the Year by the Florida Coalition for Children, the Children’s Home Society, the Breaking the Cycle Institute, and the Champion of the Heart by the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. In 2016, the Orlando Business Journal named Jason CEO of the Year.
Jason is a member of the Sanford Rotary and attends St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford. He is a tireless advocate for the citizens and businesses of Seminole County, and he views it as a great honor to have served his neighbors in the Florida House of Representatives and in the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Jason can be reached at 407-708-4610 or via email.
Vice President of Programming
In January 2019, Rebekah Arthur was named the chamber's new Vice President of Programming, which oversees initiatives other than membership. This includes items such as the events department, marketing the chamber and creating additional revenue streams, such as advertising.
Prior to her promotion, she led the chamber’s event team. Since she joined the chamber in 2014, she has overseen the growth of the chamber’s signature events, growing revenue, attendance and prestige for Riverside Dash, State of the County, Seminole Business Awards and much more.
Most recently, Rebekah’s efforts were recognized by two national organizations. The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives named her social media ambassador program for Riverside Dash as one of the best in the country. Then, Chamber Power Tip featured Rebekah when talking about the “I’m Here” program she developed with Kristina O’Leary. As a recognition of her success, she was awarded the Regent Scholarship to the three-year Institute for Organization Management program, held by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She recently completed her first year.
Prior to joining the chamber, Rebekah was the manager and event director at the JATO Project in Casselberry. There, she managed some of the region’s biggest events, such as the Casselberry Food and Wine Festival and EpisodeM’s annual car show, which drew more than 1,000 attendees. Her career in the event management field started as a summer intern at the Festival of Orchestra, while she attended Rollins College. After graduation with a degree in international business, she was named the Festival’s event manager.
Rebekah has always given back to the community, through her church she has participated in mission trips in places like Jamaica and Costa Rica. She’s volunteered at Frontline Rescue and Pet Rescue by Judy. She has also fostered dogs who need homes. Finally, she is a past board member of the Casselberry Chamber of Commerce, serving as second vice president to the board.
In her personal time, Rebekah spends her time with her husband, Jason, and their daughter Christine. The three are often found on the boat enjoying Florida’s waterways.
Rebekah can be reached at 407-708-4604 or via email.
Vice President of Operations
In February 2019, Ben Paris was named the Vice President of Operations for the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Ben oversees all financial aspects of the chamber, it's sales operations and human resources, among other responsibilities.
Ben is also a commissioner for the City of Longwood. He was first elected to the Longwood City Commission on November 4, 2014. He was unanimously voted in as Mayor in November of 2017 and again May of 2018.
Ben moved to the City of Longwood in 2005 and first began serving the city in 2007 working in the Parks Department. Over the course of the next 5 years, he held multiple positions working for the city, including lakes, storm water and streets.
During his time with the city, Ben took night classes and earned his bachelor degree in Technical Management at Devry University.
He represented the City of Longwood when he was appointed for the Seminole County Complete Count Committee in the 2010 Census. He then went on to chair the government subcommittee.
On a personal note, Ben was born on March 30, 1984 in Sacramento, California, and is the eldest of 6 children. He has also been studying martial arts since the age of 16 and currently holds a black belt and instructor title in 2 systems.
Ben can be reached at 407-708-4605 or via email.
Director of Membership
Kristina O’Leary oversees all aspects of growing the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce and, in her first year, she has made quite an impact. Since she has joined the chamber, it has seen a 32 percent in membership and a 29 percent increase in revenue from new members.
Of course, that would be no surprise to those who know Kristina. Prior to joining the chamber, she accomplished tremendous success at iHeartMedia as an Account Manager. There, she learned how to cold call clients and developed an innate talent for interacting with small businesses and CEOs. She increased personally year-over-year revenue by 30 percent and was on track to bill more than $1 million dollars in 2017 before joining the chamber.
Prior to that, Kristina worked in nearly all aspects of business, first with a business owned by her family, Precision Lawn and Design and then with Jobmaster. In those positions, she worked in accounting, payroll, human resources, administration and, of course, sales and marketing. During this time, she was highly involved with BNI, learning successful skills in networking to grow businesses.
The path to those jobs was unique. She interned for Congressman John Mica in the 7th District of Florida. She was a kindergarten and first grade teacher. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2004 with two degrees, one in political science and one in psychology. At UCF, she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Tau Sigma Academic Honor Society.
In her personal time, she has spent a decade volunteering with Seminole County Public School and Girl Scouts. She is married to Dan and has three adult children, Brittani, Julia and Wilson and one step-son, Shamus.
Kristina can be reached at 407-708-4608 or via email.
Director of Events
Jessica Peters is the new Director of Events for the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce, leading the organization in developing and putting on more than 150 events for members each year.
Jessica is no stranger to our chamber. As part of the chamber’s partnership with Walt Disney World, Jessica was a previous event intern hired by the chamber. In that role, she assisted the successful growth of many of the events she now oversees.
Since leaving that internship and graduating with a degree in Event Management from UCF’s Rosen School of Hospitality Management, Jessica was the Special Events Coordinator for the City of Lake Mary. There, she significantly increased attendance, participation and sponsorships; introduced multiple elements to the city events for improvement; and developed various protocols and forms that have streamlined certain event processes.
Jessica took a long path to arrive in the event management field. For 18 years, she was a licensed esthetician and attended The Florida College of Natural Health. In that role, she worked in places such as such as the Grand Floridian Spa and European Wax Center.
In her personal time, Jessica enjoys singing, cooking, fishing, and spending time with loved ones. Her next goal? Learning to play the guitar!
Jessica can be reached at 407-708-4602 or via email.
Pamela Chirgwin is not just the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s newest staff member, she’s also one of Seminole County’s newest residents, moving to the area in June 2019.
She’s a native of Massachusetts but, like so many people, moved to Central Florida because of the region’s outstanding economic opportunity. She joined the chamber in July 2019, overseeing administration and member relations.
Pamela graduated from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 G.P.A.
Prior to joining the Chamber, she contracted for a marketing firm analyzing and evaluating social media data. Before that, she worked at her father’s Insurance agency as an administrative assistant.
Pamela is the daughter of a Polish immigrant from Krakow and has traveled to Poland extensively throughout her life to visit her grandparents and family. She is fluent in Polish. She currently serves on The Mater Dolorosa Church Preservation Society Board as Secretary since April 2017. That church, near Springfield, MA, was one of the oldest Polish-American Catholic Churches in New England, dating back to the 1800s.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family, especially her three nephews; Cameron, Mason & Emerson.
Pamela can be reached at 407-708-4600 or via email.
Alan Byrd handles outsourced communications and marketing for the chamber, a role he has held since 2010 as the owner of Alan Byrd & Associates. He is also a former board member and chair of both the communications and issues committees.
For more than a decade, Alan Byrd worked for Orlando Business Journal and covered tourism, transportation and sports business - one of the first reporters in the country to cover the business side of sports. As a reporter, he won dozens of local, state, regional and national awards for his stories.His work also included writing for Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal as its Central Florida correspondent.
In 2001, Alan was named director of marketing for Orlando Business Journal, where he oversaw the newspaper’s events and its growth in circulation. In 2004, the company gave Alan its highest honor, an Eagle Award for Circulation Excellence.
In 2004, Alan Byrd authored his first book, Florida Spring Training: Your Guide to Touring the Grapefruit League. The nationally published book features travel tips and fan-friendly details of every spring training facility in Florida. The book was featured in many major magazines and newspapers, including Money, Newsweek, USAirways Attache, The Boston Globe and the Houston Chronicle.
In 2006, one of Alan’s good friends, Michael Waldrop, was called to duty by his country. At the time, Alan and Michael were studying The Purpose Driven Life, and God put it on Alan’s heart to join McCree to handle all sales, marketing and public relations.
Finally, in 2009, Alan formed Alan Byrd & Associates, a public relations and marketing firm, specializing in telling the story of small and medium businesses, non-profit organizations and political figures. The company has worked with dozens of high-profile clients, including Congressman John Mica, the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Alan can be reached at 407-415-8470 or via email.
Pam Czopp started working with the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce in October 2018 as a membership consultant, but her ties to Seminole County run deep.
She’s been one of the chamber’s most active members, serving on the Board of Directors and the executive committee. She co-chaired and implemented the start-up of the Altamonte Council, the River Council and the Growth and Engagement Committee, all while volunteering as an Ambassador.
During that time, Czopp worked as an account executive for Lake Mary Life Publications. There, she implemented individualized marketing plans and formulated an approach of imagination and unique presentation for each targeted group and established rapport through networking, professionalism and reputation.
Many people know Pam through her leadership of the Sanford Chamber of Commerce, where she served as executive director for five years. During that time, she Increased membership and revenue during the most difficult of economic times from under 300 to over 500 members. In addition, she added premium membership levels from $1800 to $5000 for the first time in the Chamber’s history, to a total of 9 partners.
Prior to that, she was an entrepreneur, owning and operating a special events company for nine years with sales volume exceeding $300,000. She also implemented the start-up of Ladies Fitness Club for six years resulting in sales to over 300 clients through marketing, networking, referral programs and customer rapport in a very competitive market.
Previous experience included positions as convention swales manager and more than 20 years in human resources for multinational corporations such as Johnson & Johnson and L’Oreal & Lancome.
Pam can be reached at 407-325-7444 or via email.