The 2017 World Rowing Championships have announced that Ed Chiles of Manatee County and Rod Hershberger of Sarasota County will chair this world class event in September 2017. Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker selected Chiles and Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer selected Hershberger. Both will be asked to rally the community together prior to and during the Championships through the local organizing committee.

Chiles is the owner and CEO of Chiles Group, operating the Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista restaurants on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key. Chiles is the managing partner for the Pine Avenue Restoration project in the City of Anna Maria and has served on numberous Manatee County boards. His father, Lawton Chiles, served as Florida's 41st governor.

Hershberger is co-founder of PGT Industries in Venice, Florida and has served the company since its founding in 1980. Appointed in 2005 as the Chief Executive Officer, Hershberger led the company's IPO in 2006. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer overseeing PGT's Florida and North Carolina operations. He currently serves as the president for the Arugs Foundation.

“Being able to have the guidance and expertise of these two gentlemen is setting the foundation for our future success,” said Meredith Scerba, the executive director of the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

The 2017 World Rowing Championships, an international Rowing Regatta organized by FISA (the International Rowing Federation) will take place from September 23 to October 2, 2017 at the Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. The week-long event will feature rowing that takes place in 21 different boat classes for both Men and Women. In the 48 years of the event's existence, the United States has hosted only one world championship in 1994 at Indianapolis. IN. The goal in hosting this coming year's event is to attract athletes, family, friends, and fans from around the world in celebrating and growing the sport of rowing.