The Oviedo-Winter Springs Chamber of Commerce’s first female president is taking office this month.

Cynthia Sucher will take her official place as the third president of the joint chamber in January and will be the first woman to hold the seat.

“Being involved with the Oviedo-Winter Springs chamber is natural,” she said, “and I love it.”

Sucher is the associate vice president of community relations for the University of Central Florida and focuses on helping surrounding communities stay informed about the university’s decisions that will impact the area.

In the past, Sucher has served as the president and vice president of government affairs for the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Trustee Council of the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce.

She became involved with the Oviedo-Winter Springs chamber in February 2006, when the vice president of community relations at UCF told her it might be best if she focused on the area in which she lived.

Sucher has been an Oviedo resident since 2000 and has lived in Central Florida since 1972.

“It really connects you with the community,” Sucher said about being involved with the chamber. “It’s also kind of a way to give back to the city and help it be successful.”

Sucher was nominated for the presidency November 2008 and accepted the proposal. No one ran against her.

“I felt there were probably others who could do it just as well,” she said, “but of course I said yes. I enjoy having an opportunity to provide leadership.”

Sucher said she wants to see the two cities continue to really work together to help grow the economy in the area.

She plans to have the chamber play an active role in helping the economic development group hired by both cities to bring in new business and stimulate economic growth.

She also wants to bring some recognition and strengthen the awareness of the eastern side of Seminole County, which she says has some of the highest and most attractive demographics from a marketing standpoint: high education and high income.

“It’s very desirable, but people don’t always know that,” she said.

Current President Paul Partyka will remain a member of the chamber and said he is looking forward to the chamber’s continuation.

Under Partyka’s leadership, the chamber had record-high profits – about $40,000 – for the Taste of Oviedo Event.

He said he wants to see Sucher continue it and other events to help grow the community and stimulate the economy.

“The chamber becomes more important during tough economic times,” Partyka said. “We have to do everything we can to help our businesses here and bring in more. Cynthia brings a quiet enthusiasm, and she’s going to be a fine president.”

Chamber executive director Cory Skeates is equally excited about Sucher’s presidency.

“She’s really taken a leadership role,” he said. “She’s got a focus on details and trying to find ways to grow the chamber.’

Skeates says Sucher’s connections through her various experiences in media, healthcare and technology have been a great asset to the chamber, both growing involvement and increasing awareness.

He said she understands business dynamics and can help take the chamber to the next level of exposure.

“I’ve always been very impressed with her focus and attention to detail,” he said. “I’m excited about the upcoming year with her as president.”

Sucher’s presidency starts in January, and Todd Cluxton will take her place as president-elect.

“I think this is one of the hardest working chamber organizations from the standpoint of both staff and volunteers,” Sucher said.

Source: Jenna Rew