10 Over 50: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

Meet Betsy Gardner Eckbert, President & CEO, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce!

Betsy Gardner Eckbert Photo

Betsy Gardner Eckbert, President & CEO

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

Under Gardner Eckbert’s leadership, the chamber advocated for businesses throughout the pandemic with open communication and proactive strategies.

About Betsy:

Betsy Gardner Eckbert’s crowning achievement in the business world was starting her own successful brand of luxury UV-protective swimwear in London in 2014. Now, she is combining that high-energy entrepreneurial spirit with effective community outreach to reinvent the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, which she has led since 2017.

“Chambers across the country are struggling with the relevancy gap—the realization that people do business differently in the digital age, that our audiences are changing, and that we must modernize our approach to interaction and programming to be sustainable,” Betsy said.

She and the chamber were awarded the North American Chamber Innovation Grand Prize, beating much larger chambers such as Greater Boston and Vancouver.

Betsy’s approach includes: implementing more relevant, inclusive programming; welcoming international guests; and advocating on important issues.

One of Betsy’s most successful programs has an emotional connection. “Relaunch: Career Re-entry for Professional Women” helps women who have taken a break from the workforce. Women can build their resumés, confidence and networks through a curriculum that includes how to get the most out of LinkedIn and building a personal brand.

“I took time off to raise my children and remember the confidence gap when I returned,” Betsy said. “I’m passionate about helping smooth the transition for others.”

She has also taken a fresh look at visitor data, which shows many of Winter Park’s international guests come from the United Kingdom. To help reach those potential visitors, Betsy has attended the World Travel Market in London, launched digital initiatives and created a Tourism Advisory Board.

Betsy also understands Winter Park’s art institutions are a huge draw for visitors, so she led a delegation of Winter Park arts leaders to Tallahassee in March to urge Central Florida legislators to restore arts funding.

“I grew up in Winter Park,” said Betsy. “Giving back is crucial.”

About The Winter Park Chamber:

Today, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is a community institution that actively supports economic success in our community.  The Chamber unites business owners, community leaders and residents through unique events and programs.  Whether the Chamber is providing educational opportunities, encouraging attendance at an event or advocating at City Hall, everything we do is with you, our members, in mind.

Members are encouraged to take advantage of a variety of programs, events and initiatives offered by the Chamber.  Active participation is key to developing relationships, increasing brand awareness and building your business.

About 10 Over 50:

Orlando magazine’s 2022 10 Over 50 List honors those changemakers in the community over 50 who continue to make a difference in Central Florida.

Categories: 10 Over 50