Robert Chandler IV
Director, Lake County Economic Development and Tourism
Goals: As director of Lake County Economic Development and Tourism, I have two main goals: to assist the private sector in the creation of high wage jobs and to attract more tourism visitors to Lake County. Economically, we do this by supporting our existing businesses and by marketing Lake County as a destination for startups or expanding businesses. From a tourism standpoint, we put a strong emphasis on marketing Lake County’s unique tourism strengths, such as our historic downtowns, ecotourism activities, or many popular events and festivals, to help the county become a great destination for visitors.
Message to the people: We have one of the hardest working staffs I have ever been around and an innovative strategic plan that I believe has Lake County poised for tremendous success. While ultimately we will play only a small role in shaping Lake County’s future, I want the Lake County taxpayers to know we will be responsible stewards of their money and will work tirelessly to ensure Lake County has a bright future.
How you met your wife: My wife, Jennifer, and I have been married since 2005. We met in Gainesville through an introduction by mutual friends. The first time we met, she spent most of the evening questioning if my name was real. Everyone calls me “IV” because my name is Robert Chandler IV.
Last romantic date: Jennifer and I dropped off the kids and were going to have dinner in Orlando. However, we never ate. Instead, we stopped at a car dealership and traded our van in for a new SUV.
Favorite memory growing up in Lake: Meeting friends at Friday night football games and then taking our trucks to the woods. Sometimes we would go mudding and other times we’d sit around a campfire telling stories.
Worst advice: When people give advice based on their own fears and insecurities, they are not looking out for your best interests; they are offering advice based on what makes them comfortable.
Favorite junk food: I’m an equal opportunity junk food guy, but if I had to name one thing it definitely would be Skittles.
Something few people know about you: Right after college I landed a job with IMG, a sports marketing company. One aspect of my job entailed attending NASCAR races and handing the winning driver a Coke whenever a Coke-sponsored driver won. So if you ever saw a hand on television giving the winning driver a Coke, that was me!
Con ‘grad’ulations: Graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in business administration.
Movin’ on up: Robert served as regional coordinator of Lake County Economic Development and Tourism before being promoted to director in April 2013.
Local roots: Robert is a Lake County native who graduated from Leesburg High School in 1996.