John R. Wright is a well known face of Punta Gorda where he has been President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce since 2006. Born near Nottingham, England, he moved to Scotland at an early age where he developed a passion for foreign languages and travel. As a Masters Graduate of Edinburgh University, he went to work with The Distillers Company Limited, brand-owners of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky.
His language proficiency in Spanish and Portuguese proved very useful when he was given the responsibility to manage the distribution of all Johnnie Walker family of products in Latin America and the Caribbean. As his career progressed, he became Managing Director of Domecq International, based in Madrid, Spain.
In 1999, John relocated to the Southwest Florida coast when offered a newly-created position with the British Embassy. At the time, the UK government was looking for a commercially-focused entrepreneur to show British businesses how operating through Florida could open up new business opportunities in the Latin American and Caribbean regions. He was highly successful in bringing missions to Florida and attracting UK businesses to establish a more permanent base in Florida – thus creating jobs and wealth here too.
As his posting was coming to an end, Hurricane Charley hit. John had family ties here in Punta Gorda, so he decided to stay and took a year off to rebuild the family home here. Then came the most difficult decision – go back to Europe or stay. He decided to stay and was selected as President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce in June of 2006.
Since taking over the reigns at the Chamber, he has built a strong and vibrant team that is focused on business development, networking, unifying the issues facing the local business community and interacting with local authorities in working out methods to improve the overall business environment in the City. He has got the Chamber involved in many new projects, assisting Team Punta Gorda in the beautification of the City, planning high-profile community events that bring both old and new visitors to the area but most importantly working with local businesses.