Blakely Williams, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce's interim president since April, was named the full-time president and CEO Thursday after approval by the organization's board of directors.
Williams, formerly the chamber's director of member services, will assume her new role at the local business organization immediately.
She succeeds Carlotta Ungaro, who left the chamber in April for a similar post in Morrisville, N.C.
Nineteen people applied for the position, and a search committee interviewed three, according to a chamber news release.
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"(Williams) brings unmatched experience with our local business community, boundless energy and enthusiasm and has a great feel for where we need to take this chamber in coming years," Jon Rembold, chairman of the search committee and incoming chairman of the chamber's board of directors, said in the release.
A native of Clinton, Williams joined the chamber in June 2007 as the member services manager and was promoted in June 2009 to director of member services, in which she oversaw the recruitment and expansion of membership.
Williams graduated in 2003 from Presbyterian College in Clinton, where she studied psychology and political science.
Before joining the chamber, she served as a marketing and sales representative with Environments Inc. in Beaufort. From 2003 to 2006, she was a human resources specialist for Waffle House Inc.'s Charleston market, where she recruited, staffed and trained management and employees for 12 restaurants, she said.
"I am honored and humbled to be selected," Williams said. "With the Joint Strike Fighters coming to the air station and the $70 million in base construction that is starting soon, plus the improving local economy, the chamber is poised to make great strides."
Follow staff writer Juliann Vachon at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.