The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce announced a change in leadership last week, with President and CEO John Horner stepping down from the role he has held for the last seven years.
In his place, the chamber’s board of directors appointed Brittney Sherman as the organization’s new president and CEO. Sherman has been involved in the chamber since 2015, when she was appointed as a board member. In 2017, the board hired her as the chamber’s full-time Member and Community Engagement Director. Most recently, Sherman has served as the chamber’s Chief Operating Officer.
The transition itself has been a few years in the making, Horner explained. Horner initially joined the chamber board of directors in 2012, and took on the paid position of President and CEO in 2013. At that time, he and the board agreed he would serve in the position for at least three years.
“Obviously I served much longer than that,” Horner said in an email to the Times. “Our plan had always been to develop a successor who would be ready, willing and able to assume the role. I’m delighted and proud that Brittney has fully fulfilled that intention.”
Horner announced his resignation Feb. 26. The same day, the chamber’s board accepted his immediate resignation and appointed Sherman as his replacement. In a Feb. 26 email to chamber members, Horner wrote, “Together we have accomplished a great deal for the organization and our community since I was appointed in 2013. Going forward I look forward to having more time to devote to my other interests and responsibilities.”
Sherman, a San Jose native, began working in the hospitality industry after receiving her degree from San Jose State University. After working at several positions in different states across the country, Sherman relocated to Morgan Hill in 2015. She worked as a sales director for Marriott and Residence Inn hotels, and for Leal Vineyards before joining the Morgan Hill chamber.
As the chamber’s Member and Community and Engagement Director, Sherman provided member services, support and advocacy for the organization’s 550 member businesses and 1,250 business representatives.
In 2019, her local role expanded to COO, which included budget management, event sponsorships and oversight of high-profile community events.
“Now as the CEO/President of the organization I am not only excited about expanding upon existing programs, but also introducing new ideas and initiatives,” Sherman said in an email. “The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce has been advocating for business and building community since 1958, and I fully intend to keep that mission moving forward in the years to come.”
Sherman added that during Horner’s tenure as the chamber’s top paid staff member, he has “been shaping and molding the (chamber), turning a small organization into an influential, respected and successful one.”
The local chamber sponsors some of Morgan Hill’s most popular public events, including the summertime Friday Night Music Series and the Taste of Morgan Hill.
Horner, a co-owner of local toy store Thinker Toys, will continue to serve on the chamber’s board, which consists of 18 directors.
Horner is also a trustee on the Morgan Hill Unified School District board of education. He was elected to that seat in 2018, and plans to continue serving on the board of trustees at least until his current four-year term expires in 2022.