Darnell Smith was selected Friday as 2017 chair of the JAX Chamber board of directors.
Smith has been Florida Blue market president for the North Florida region since 2013. He will begin as chair-elect of the chamber board in January.
“Jacksonville is building some incredible momentum, and I’m excited to see what the chamber can do to help businesses thrive and grow jobs in every corner of our community,” Smith said in a news release. “I believe the business community can play a pivotal role in creating more economic opportunity for families, which will improve the quality of life for everyone in our city.”
As chair-elect, Smith will lead the 2016 Leadership Trip and the chamber’s board of governors in 2016, which helps implement policy and priorities set by the board of directors.
Audrey Moran is chair-elect this year and will serve as board chair in 2016. She is senior vice president for social responsibility and community advocacy.
University of North Florida President John Delaney is the board’s current president.
“Building business opportunities and creating jobs is all about relationships, and Darnell has built wonderful relationships throughout the community,” Moran said in the release.
She called Smith’s enthusiasm for serving the community “infectious.”
“When he gets involved, whether it’s with the arts or mentoring or an education initiative, he makes a difference,” Moran said of Smith.
Smith has served on the boards of directors for the Cathedral Arts Project, the Otis Smith Kids Foundation, the PACE Center for Girls in Jacksonville, Ritz Theatre & Museum and the YMCA, as well as the Florida Blue Foundation, Florida Blue’s philanthropic affiliate.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University and is a graduate of the advanced management program at Harvard Business School.
The remainder of the 2016 board of directors will be finalized next month.