Jim Hizer, CEcD, CCE

Senior Project Director

This work is all about making a difference. When our clients have the right strategic plan and the financial resources they need to execute that plan, they are often impacting thousands of lives in meaningful ways. When I am engaged with a client, I recognize that the harder I work and the more creativity I bring to that project, the more lives will be impacted. It is quite humbling to realize the importance our role as fundraising counsel plays in the betterment of these organizations and their communities.


In his 32 year career as an economic development professional, chamber of commerce executive, and fundraising professional, Jim has raised more than $115 million and created more than 18,000 jobs for the organizations and communities he served. He has personally worked with hundreds of global businesses in guiding their project and investment decisions. Well-respected within the national chamber of commerce, economic development, and fundraising communities, Jim holds a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council. He is one of only 15 professionals in the nation who hold both the CCE and CEcD designations.

Through his track record of nonprofit management and fundraising success, Jim is uniquely qualified to develop and lead community-based and nationally-based program initiatives. He has acquired the national reputation of a professional who under-promises and over-delivers. For example, under his leadership as President/CEO, the Bowling Green (KY) Area Chamber of Commerce was named the 2009 National Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. During that time, he headed the initiative to construct a new $4 million chamber of commerce headquarters and business service center. With an original goal of $1.5 million, Jim and the chamber’s dedicated volunteers raised more than $2.8 million.

Summary of Experience

  • Served as President/CEO of the Greater Pensacola (FL) Chamber, with 1,200 members, a 32-member staff, and combined annual budget responsibilities of $9.4 million (2010-2013).
    • During his tenure, Jim’s team raised more than $8.9 million from 122 investors for Vision 2015, a 5-year economic development campaign, securing $2.4 million over goal.
  • Served as President/CEO of the Bowling Green (KY) Area Chamber, with 1,200 members, a 15-member staff, and combined annual budget responsibilities of $13.9 million (2004-2010).
  • Successfully guided the Clinton (IA) Regional Development Corporation’s 5-year capital campaign, raising over $2.9 million, more than $150,000 over the original goal.
  • Managed the strategic planning and capital campaign for the Montana Chamber of Commerce, exceeding the $1 million goal.
  • Served in volunteer fundraising roles for multiple organizations, including:
    • First Presbyterian Church (IN).
    • Starr-Gennett Foundation Jass Museum (IN).
    • Big Brothers & Big Sisters of NW Florida.
    • Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity.
  • Graduate of University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.
  • BS in Public Administration from Indiana University.
Jim always hit the ground running and he wasn’t shy about asking for money on our behalf. You need that kind of person on your team to be successful.
Hal Hawke, Campaign Chair
Sandusky County EDC, OH