Meet ChamberSOUTH’s New Executive Director, Melissa Cancio

Business Profile

Meet ChamberSOUTH’s New Executive Director, Melissa Cancio

Donna Shelley

ChamberSOUTH has a new Executive Director, Melissa Cancio. Upbeat and engaging, Melissa said that she is looking forward to “connecting people” in the community through her new position with the Chamber.  

“The Chamber is a town meeting place where friends can bond and exchange ideas. My role is to make relationships happen,” said Melissa.

Born and raised in Miami, Melissa’s educational background has done much to prepare her to tackle the demands of the Chamber. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations, applied communications, and advertising from Florida International University. She earned a master’s in business administration from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, about an hour away from Chicago. 

Melissa Cancio with incoming chairman Juan Hidalgo, CPA (left), and past chair Bill Duquette, CEO, South Miami Hospital (right).

Melissa has been involved in successful fundraising events, raising over $100,000 for the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.  She was appointed to Omicron Delta Kappa’s Board of Trustees for three years. According to the University of Miami, Omicron Delta Kappa is one of the oldest and most prestigious honor societies at the University of Miami recognizing outstanding members of the University community.  

The new Director’s earlier experience with the Chamber was as a volunteer and as one of the first Chamber Next Young Professionals group in 2019. 

Melissa knows a lot about how the Chamber operated from her time as a volunteer. As the new Director, her vision for the organization’s future can be summed up in one word, “retention.” What the Chamber plans to do to attract new members and what it is doing to keep them. 

Word of mouth is one way to attract new businesses and business owners to the Chamber. Melissa passionately believes there is much more she and the Board can do together to attract and retain members. Proactive measures include planning and holding “sold out” events and an annual gala, increasing the Chamber’s revenue stream, increasing Board involvement as volunteers, speakers, etc., working closely with elected officials, and rebranding the organization.   

“I believe it is important to surround yourself with those who make you better at what you do. They are a support system,” said Melissa.

Chamber members and business leaders gather at Beauty & The Butcher restaurant for a welcoming reception for the new chamber president.

ChamberSOUTH is a leading small business champion dedicated to advancing economic development and prosperity throughout South Miami, Pinecrest, Kendall, Cutler Bay, and Palmetto Bay. With a membership comprising diverse businesses and professionals, ChamberSOUTH provides advocacy, resources, and networking opportunities to support the growth and success of its members and the community. The link between our quality of life and a thriving business community is undeniable.

FMI about ChamberSOUTH, visit Media Contact: Melissa Cancio, Executive Director at (305)-725-1900. 


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