The Guelph Chamber of Commerce has announced its new President and Chief Executive Officer, and it’s a face that’s familiar to Guelph’s charitable pursuits and the non-profit sector. Shakiba Shayani will be the new head of the Chamber effective September 9.
“I am honoured and thrilled about this opportunity,” Shayani said in a media release. “I look forward to working alongside a dedicated board and staff team and serve my hometown. I am excited to continue to contribute to the inclusive economic prosperity of the community.”
It is community for which Shayani is known. She’s served as Director of Community Investment at United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin for the last six years. Along with being a University of Guelph alum, Shayani has also been an alum of the Guelph Chamber’s Board of Directors, where she “demonstrated a solid track record of creativity, progressiveness and community mindedness,” said the media release.
“We are grateful that she saw an opportunity to remain connected to the organization and serve her community in a different way” said Melanie Lang, Chair of the Board of Directors.
Shayani steps into the shoes of Kithio Mwanzia, who stepped down from the role of the Chamber’s President and CEO this past March. Amy Kendall, a former chair of the Guelph Chamber Board herself, has been holding the position in an interim capacity for the last several months.
Mwanzia left the Board ahead of “a new and ambitious strategic plan” being pursued by the Chamber. According to Lang, Shayani is well suited to turn that ambition into reality.
“The process was thoughtful and thorough to ensure the selected candidate could implement our strategic plan and lead the Chamber through our growth goals” said Lang.
Along with her work for the United Way, Shayani has served as a sessional instructor at the University of Guelph in the Department of Marketing and Consumer Studioes, and has been a selection committee member for the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph Women of Distinction Awards. She has an honours BA in criminal justice and public policy from the U of G, and a post-graduate certificate in international development from Humber College.