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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce has named Carl Blackstone as its new president and CEO.

"I am humbled and honored to be selected to lead the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and serve this thriving community," said Blackstone in a statement. "I am excited about the opportunity ahead to make the region more competitive and help align businesses with the resources they need to grow and expand, ultimately bringing new jobs into our community."

Blackstone will officially assume his new role on March 24.

Holt Chetwood, the chair of the chamber, said Blackstone's experience, expertise, and knowledge of the region's needs helped him stand out from the other candidates.

Blackstone has done extensive work in public policy, government relations, and strategic communications. He was part of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, and was the senior legislative adviser to Governor Mark Sanford.

"The Chamber's work is vital to the region's business community and I look forward to working with the Chamber's membership, board, volunteers and staff to continue to promote the interests and livelihood of local business," states Blackstone.

Blackstone succeeds Ike McLeese, who served as the Greater Columbia Chamber CEO for 19 years before he passed away last year.

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