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Wichmanowski choice for chamber president

Published:   |   Updated: May 16, 2013 at 09:29 PM

Henry G. "Chip" Wichmanowski is the next president and CEO of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce.

The full Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday morning to hire Wichmanowski, according to Bruce Mills, the board's chairman. The board's executive committee had already endorsed Wichmanowski as the new president and CEO.

Wichmanowski, a West Pasco resident since 1984, is succeeding Joe Alpine, who is retiring in January after 15 years at the helm of the chamber.

Wichmanowski is perhaps best known as the long-time executive director of the Pasco Education Foundation, which conducts fundraising on behalf of the Pasco County School District.

The extensive search drew more than 30 applicants for the chamber president's post, Mills said. "Chip's career and community background make him an ideal candidate who is well known and highly respected in the West Pasco community," he said of Wichmanowski.

Prior to his 15 years at the helm of the foundation, Wichmanowski was the school district's director of communications and principal at Calusa and Gulfside elementary schools.

During his tenure at the foundation, Wichmanowski increased its budget from $125,000 to $600,000. He created programs such as the Scholarship Banquet, Business Partner of Year Hall of Fame and the Education Celebration honoring the teacher of the year and others. In addition, he developed 20 endowments.

Wichmanowski received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Florida State University. He added a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Chicago State University in 1983.

Wichmanowski also has served on the Leadership Pasco board after completing the 1998 class. He led Pasco County Association of School Administrators as president 1990 through 1992.

He belongs to National Planned Giving Association and the Pasco County Chambers of Commerce, a consortium of five chambers in the county. (727) 815-1068