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Citrus Heights Messenger

Merrick Named Chamber Executive Director

Mar 20, 2024 04:53PM ● By Thomas J. Sullivan, photo by Paul V. Scholl
Sheri Merrick is the new Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce executive director. 


CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - It’s a busy start to the workday for Sheri Merrick, the new Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce executive director.

In between telephone calls and opportunities to meet local business and civic leaders, Merrick, who started work on March 5, busily attended to final planning details for this Saturday’s Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Dinner at North Ridge Country Club. She recently learned that she will be honored at the awards dinner as Woman of the Year in state Assembly District 7 by state Assemblyman Josh Hoover.

“I feel my best approach is to meet business owners where they are and listen to their concerns and show them how the Citrus Heights chamber can be of help and engage them,” Merrick said.

Merrick recently met with Citrus Heights City Manager Ash Feeney and Citrus Heights Police Chief Alex Turcotte to discuss a variety of safety and security concerns faced daily by business owners.

“I also look forward to working closely with the city of Citrus Heights. It’s important that the voice of business in our community is fully heard and their concerns are listened to,” Merrick said.

The Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce was established in May 1958 as “a unifying force for business, government, education and community involvement.”

Merrick replaced Diane Ebbitt-Riehle, who had her last day in January. Merrick is also the owner of AB Business Solutions in Orangevale, a community engagement and marketing company specializing in social media and web design services in the healthcare arena.

Her personality is decidedly high-energy and you won’t find a traditional office chair behind Merrick’s office desk. She prefers a large aerobic ball instead. Merrick is a former dance teacher and loves teaching. She said this is reflected in her leadership style.

“I like to lead by example. Working together, I think we can redefine what a Chamber of Commerce could be and how to give our members better value for their membership,” Merrick said.

Merrick had been a past member of the Citrus Heights Chamber earlier in her career and was a past business ambassador for some five years before moving on to Folsom.

“Sheri brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the dynamics that drive successful community engagement. With her impressive background in chamber community work and her track record of building lasting relationships, we are confident that Sheri will play a pivotal role in leading our chamber to new heights,” said Gabrielle Rasi, DDS, of Almond Orchard Dental Care, Citrus Heights Chamber Board Chair in announcing Merrick’s new position.

Merrick was the chief operations officer for the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. In Folsom, the branded “Choose Folsom” program is powered by the Greater Folsom Partnership, home of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, and its Economic and Tourism Bureau. She was also a volunteer coordinator for the Folsom Pro Rodeo, a popular family event held each year in Folsom.

Rasi this week described what made Merrick a compelling choice for the position.

“We didn’t want to rush the selection process,” Rasi said. “We wanted to exercise due diligence to find the perfect candidate who could take the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce truly to the next level.”

Rasi speaks highly of Merrick’s passion, professional purpose and creative leadership as key factors in the board’s decision-making process.

“Sheri has a great sense of team spirit,” Rasi said. “She’s right fit for the chamber’s future.”

Merrick draws a distinction between her former role as a chief operations officer and her new responsibilities as the Citrus Heights chamber’s executive director, where she has “an important role in drawing a compelling case for chamber membership and its strength” in collective business advocacy.

She estimated there are about 2,500 active businesses in Citrus Heights, many that should join the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce but have yet to do so.

“There’s a real task ahead to educate them as to the importance and value of chamber membership as well as an opportunity to influence and inspire a new younger generation of leadership,” Merrick said.

The city’s growth is driven by sales tax revenue and the task to continue to build thriving and diverse business community in Citrus Heights is an important priority for the chamber.

“We need to look closely at what businesses aren’t yet located here in Citrus Heights and why,” Merrick said.

At a recent luncheon, the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce welcomed new members which included InfoStar Productions, Hearts 4 Heroes USA, Hazlip Creative, the Fogler CPA Accountancy Firm and Mark Avila Home Loans.

A much-needed overhaul of the chamber’s member database, web and social media tools are also in process, with a stated goal to build additional benefits and value to help chamber members achieve their individual business goals, Merrick said.

The Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce is located at 7625 Sunrise Blvd., Suite 207 in Citrus Heights. Businesses interested in learning what the chamber can do to help their business grow can call 916-722-4545 during normal business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or email [email protected].

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