Michael W. Rollins, CCE, became President and CEO of the Greater Austin Chamber in December 2002, after a successful career leading Chambers of Commerce in Nashville TN, Asheville NC, Columbia SC, Fredericksburg VA and Hickory NC.
In 2004, Rollins started Opportunity Austin, a five year economic development initiative. Now in its 3rd five year plan, it has added 234,900 new jobs and $12 billion in payroll to Central Texas. More than $54 million has been raised from the private sector to fund Opportunity Austin which has lead more to than 250 companies relocating to Central Texas.
In addition to an aggressive business attraction program, Opportunity Austin includes Portfolio Austin, a business retention and expansion effort and the establishment of the Greater Austin Technology Partnership.
During Rollins’ tenure in Austin, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce membership has grown from 1,700 members to more than 3,100.
Rollins was President and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce from 1990 to 2002. In Nashville, Rollins led an $18 million organization serving 4,400 business members and developed economic and community development strategies that resulted in the attraction of more than 160 companies and the creation of approximately 190,000 new jobs. While there, he increased the Chamber’s operating revenues from $3.5 million to more than $18 million and raised more than $20 million from the private sector to fund economic and community development strategies.
Prior to that, Rollins was Executive Vice President and CEO of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina.
He also served as Senior Director and General Manager of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina and as Executive Vice President and CEO of the Fredericksburg (VA) Area Chamber of Commerce.
He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and management from the University of South Carolina and is a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE).