Andrea De Leon, who has been the executive director for the Highland Area Chamber of Commerce for over three years, has announced that she will be leaving the chamber. De Leon accepted a job as the executive director for the Fontana Chamber of Commerce, which she began on Monday, Jan. 4.

Former chamber board member Chris Nielsen was appointed as interim executive director.

The chamber’s board of directors stressed its deep appreciation for all the work De Leon has done for the community and for the business members and wish her great success on her new endeavors.

“We will miss her and her hard work ethic. We were spoiled by her willingness to work long hours and her commitment to making each event a success. She used her network and business-related experience to bring us great educational speakers and double our monthly chamber member attendance,” said Chris Marin, 2020 board president.

“Andrea managed our board but became our friend. She and I strategized on projects and events while she lured me into volunteering more for our community. She made it fun,” said Ryan Vollkommer, board president-elect 2021.

At the 2021 board retreat, the board appointed former board member Chris Nielsen, of PRMG Mortgage, as interim executive director. Nielsen has many years of experience in the business community. He has been a mortgage lender for over 30 years and managed a four-store retail business in his early career. Nielsen has a long history of involvement in Highland, where his family owned an orange grove for 20 years.

“I hope to be able to fill Andrea’s big shoes,” said Nielsen after being appointed.

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