Charlie Weidanz, who has helped lead Abilities United and various other Peninsula nonprofits over the past three decades, will be the new chief executive officer of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, the organization announced late Tuesday.
Weidanz, who most recently served as CEO at Abilities United, is leaving that role just as the local nonprofit is merging with Gatepath, a Redwood City-based nonprofit that also focuses on adults and children with disabilities.
Prior to Abilities United, he had served as executive director at the YMCA, within the San Francisco and Santa Clara Valley associations, according to the Chamber's announcement.
In joining the Chamber, Weidanz will work alongside Judy Kleinberg, who had spent the past five years as both the CEO and president of the Chamber. With the addition of Weidenz, Kleinberg will continue to serve as president, with a focus on government affairs, disaster planning, the Leadership Palo Alto program for emerging executives and city leaders and the new Palo Alto Chamber Foundation.
Weidanz will focus on the nonprofit's internal operations, including membership development, organizational programs and signature events, according to the Chamber's announcement. The statement touts the new executive team of Kleinberg and Weidenz as one that combines their "complementary skill sets, creating a dynamic leadership experience focused on organizational mission and vision that matches evolving community and business needs.
Weidanz had served on the Chamber's board of directors for the past three years and has chaired the board since earlier this year.
The board's current chair, Matt Dolan, touted in a statement the "depth of experience" that Weidanz brings to the new position.
"His demonstrated leadership performance and commitment to the community provide the perfect complement and support to enhance the progress implemented by Judy at the Chamber," Dolan said. "Charlie and Judy together create a dynamic leadership team that assures Palo Alto Chamber remains a premier provider of valuable services to the business community and promotes community vitality for residents, visitors and the workforce."