Chamber’s search for new executive director nearly complete

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 14:55
  • A Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce sticker on the window of an Eagle River business on May 22, 2017. Since January, 16 new members have joined the local chamber, which represents a variety of businesses throughout the community. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)

By the start of the New Year, the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce is likely to be heading in a new direction.

Chamber president Colin Fay said Monday the local business organization is in the final stages of its search for an executive director to replace the outgoing Dana Thorp-Patterson.

“It’s going excellent,” Fay said. “We interviewed eight candidates over the long weekend, all of whom were highly qualified.”

Fay said board members Leslie Lance and Shawn Osborne joined him on the interview committee. Next, the trio will present its recommendation to a seven-member executive committee, which will present a final recommendation to the full board of directors Friday.

Fay said he was impressed with the candidates who applied to fill the role being vacated by Thorp-Patterson, who is moving out of state.

“There were a lot of folks who were really dedicated to our mission and have the administrative, business and community skills to help our organization succeed,” he said.

The executive director search is part of an ongoing transition at the chamber, which in the past two months has seen the departure of both its staff members as well as the election of a new president in Fay.

Fay said the changes have definitely come as a surprise during the inaugural days of his presidency.

“I was not anticipating this much change,” he said.

Although the chamber’s leadership is changing, most of its board members — mostly longtime area businesspeople — remain the same. He said the group is looking at the transition period as a way to rethink the group’s core missions and look for ways to improve.

“We are definitely looking at this as an opportunity to hold onto the traditions that make sense while at the same time becoming an organization that has the ability to change what we need to,” he said.

Fay said there will be a renewed emphasis on board input when it comes to chamber projects and initiatives.

“It’s a great opportunity to start fresh and grow in a way that’s really driven by the board more so than we have in the past,” he said.

Fay said an announcement about a new executive director will likely be made Friday, Dec. 1.

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