Rex Richards is the President and CEO of the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation. He has been leading the Valpo Chamber since 2006. Rex has led chambers of commerce and economic development corporations in three states and seven communities over a 35 plus year career. He was selected as the Chamber President of the Year for Indiana in 2012 and the Valparaiso Chamber was selected as Indiana Chamber of the Year for 2013 by the Indiana Chamber Executives Association. In addition to leading the Valpo Chamber to the title of Indiana Chamber of the Year, he has led the Sarasota, Florida Chamber of Commerce to the same honor during his leadership there in 2002. He has the distinction of being the only Chamber President in America to lead two chambers in separate states to such an award. Rex has given briefings to three U.S. Presidents and has the privilege of meeting with England's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, the Premier of China and Prime Minister of Japan, as well as ranking members of the Vatican during his career while serving in Kansas City and Sarasota.
Rex grew up in Anderson, Indiana and graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a graduate of the Chamber of Commerce Institute which was a six year program at the University of Notre Dame. He was invited to attend the Academy for Chamber Executives also at the University of Notre Dame over a three year period and completed a special program for Chamber CEO's held at UCLA. Rex has been the Chairman of the Board of Doctors Hospital in Sarasota and has served on numerous Boards in Northwest Indiana as well as in Sarasota and Kansas City where he has led Chambers. He currently serves on the board for St. Mary Medical Center.
George Douglas is the Director of Development for the City of Valparaiso. Douglas is a lifelong Valparaiso resident and longtime community leader. Early on in his career, he served in planning and economic development roles under Mayor David Butterfield. He has also served on the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission and the Valparaiso City Council. In the private sector, Douglas worked with Indiana Beverage for more than a decade, ultimately serving as senior vice president, with roles in operations, business development, community and governmental affairs. He has most recently been involved in commercial real estate and as a partner with Peddler's Pizza Pub in downtown Valparaiso.
Douglas is also a longtime community volunteer, currently serving in board positions with the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, the McMillan Family Foundation, Pines Village Retirement Communities, and PACT. He is a graduate of Purdue University. He and his wife, Julie Bodensteiner Douglas, have raised three children in Valparaiso.