Tony Budet, president and CEO of University Federal Credit Union, will lead the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in 2016.
The board announced Budet as chairman Dec. 18. Budet has served as chair-elect for the past year, leading the chamber’s Austin Community College Progress Report Task Force and serving as a member of the board of directors.
Budet said his philosophy at UFCU is invest in the community, particularly in higher education. Students become successful professionals, which attracts businesses to the area and creates more jobs, he said.
"We, as a business, get what we need on the backend of that circle," he said.
Budet said he plans to approach his leadership at the chamber similarly--invest in the community, and ultimately businesses will succeed. In the coming year, Budet said, the chamber has plenty of challenges on its plate, including economic segregation, lack of affordability in the city and too few workforce training opportunities.
“A lot of people don’t realize the chamber is intimately involved in these sectors,” he said. “I love this community and I see some great opportunities for the business community to be more impactful."
Ellen Wood, co-founder, president and CEO of financial consulting firm vcfo, was named the chamber's chair-elect. Wood previously served as the board’s vice chairwoman of finance.
"We are honored that Tony and Ellen will share their time and talents with the Austin chamber," said Gene Austin, the 2015 chairman and CEO, president and director of Bazaarvoice, in a news release. "Both of these esteemed professionals have proven to be valuable partners of the Austin chamber and its members. We are grateful for their continued efforts and we look forward to working together to make 2016 a successful year for the Central Texas community."
Budet has held several executive roles during his 30-year tenure with UFCU, including CFO. Budet is a graduate of The University of Texas and has served as a director or committee member with the Credit Union National Association, Texas Credit Union League, Catalyst Corporate FCU and other trade, higher education and community organizations.
Another UT graduate, Wood’s career in finance and entrepreneurship spans three decades. In 1996, Wood co-founded vcfo in Austin, and the company has expanded into Dallas, Denver, Houston and Seattle.
Wood serves as chairwoman of the board for UFCU, as treasurer for the Entrepreneurs Foundation and as an advisory board member and past treasurer for the Capital Area Boy Scouts board. She is the past chairwoman of the Central Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization and past president of Technology Entrepreneurs Foundation.
New chamber board members
The Chamber also announced 12 new members to its board of directors, each of whom will serve Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. New board members include:
• Joe Cantalupo, senior vice president of K Friese & Associates,
• Michael Cooper, vice president of Commercial Business at Heritage Title of Austin,
• Hugh Forrest, director of South by Southwest Interactive Festival,
• Rudy Garza, president and CEO of GarzaBury,
• Jim Jarrett, vice president of Operations at Texas Gas Service,
• Dawn Jones, Texas Public Affairs manager for Intel,
• Ali Khataw, president and CEO of Encotech Engineering,
• Robert Nagel, president and CEO of Fox Services,
• Kerry Parker, CEO of A+ Federal Credit Union,
• Michelle Robertson, COO of Ascension Texas CEO of Seton Family of Hospitals,
• Anna Sanchez, senior Business Relationship manager at Wells Fargo, and
• Robert Watson, general manager of Hilton Austin.
The 12 new members will join 24 incumbent members who are serving various terms through 2016. Board members are selected from the chamber’s membership to provide leadership in the business community.