She currently is an official at a regional chamber.
After a nationwide search, the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director to replace Rick Fraser who, earlier this year, announced plans to retire.
Debbie Cotton, current vice president and chief operating officer of Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, has accepted an offer and will start Oct. 17.
Fraser has said he would retire when a replacement is hired but would stay on as needed for a transition.
Cotton has been in her present position for four years and previously worked in communications and business development for the Seminole chamber. Her work history also includes marketing and business development for a credit union in Orlando.
She is on the board of directors of Florida Association of Chamber Professionals and recently became chair-elect. She is currently in her second year in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Organizational Management, a four-year leadership program.
She has a bachelor of arts degree in organizational management from Warner University in Lake Wales.
Cotton, 54, grew up in DeLand and said she looks forward to returning to Volusia County. She said the Ormond Beach chamber is poised for growth.
“Rick Fraser has done a great job,” she said. “I want to take it to the next level.”
She was chosen out of 70 applicants by a panel of chamber members, assisted by Ned Harper, former director of the Small Business Development Center, who served as consultant.
Harper said Cotton was highly recommended by Nancy Keefer, CEO of Daytona Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, who said Cotton would be an excellent choice.
Keefer has worked with Cotton on Florida Chamber of Commerce panels.
Harper and John Walsh, chamber president, both said Cotton has strong leadership skills.
“She has proven experience as a chamber professional and has the support of other chamber leaders,” Walsh said.
“I want to take it to the next level.”
DEBBIE COTTON, new chamber director