Gilroy Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Mark Turner announced Aug. 26 that he will step down from his position at the end of the year after nearly a decade at the helm.
Turner, who is currently running for mayor of Morgan Hill, said that although the election isn’t until Nov. 8, his announcement allows the chamber’s Board of Directors to begin a search for a replacement.
During Turner’s nine-year tenure, the Gilroy Chamber became known for events such as the Garlic City Car Show, the Annual Legislative Summit, and the Annual Mayor’s State of the City Address.
The chamber has also taken positions on local, regional and state issues. Over the last two years, Turner has also been the chair of Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition, which includes 18 other chambers of commerce in and around Silicon Valley.
After the City of Gilroy ended funding to the Gilroy Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) in 2019, Turner successfully presented a plan to the chamber and GEDC boards to have the chamber assume the responsibility of economic development working with the city and other agencies.
In early 2020, just as the pandemic hit, Turner worked closely with Jane Howard, the executive director of Visit Gilroy, and co-founded the Gilroy Economic Development Partnership (GEDP). The GEDP was expanded to include a total of eight economic development partners. They identified three initiatives to help in the economic recovery and sustainability of the community. One initiative was to bring a Sharks ice facility to Gilroy; second was to create a mountain bike adventure park adjacent to Gilroy Gardens; and third was the development of Gourmet Alley in downtown. They also worked with the City Council to pass a resolution declaring Gilroy as a Recreation Destination.
After the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in 2019, Turner was tapped to lead three different community vigils.
In 2020, he was awarded the Chamber Executive of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives which is the largest state or regional association of chamber executives in the United States.
“I have enjoyed every minute of my time at the chamber and serving this community,” Turner said. “I’ve been honored to get to know and work alongside so many wonderful people. While my heart is calling me home to Morgan Hill, where I have lived for 30 years, I will always be grateful for my time here.”
The chamber’s Board of Directors will begin the search for Turner’s replacement.
“Mark has played a significant role in many aspects of community development and business advocacy over the last nine years,” said Carlos Pineda, chair of the Chamber Board. “His dedication, commitment and enthusiasm are not easily matched.”
Those interested in the position can download the job description and additional information from the chamber’s website at gilroy.org.