With a grateful heart, I announce my intention to leave my position as Chamber President at the end of this year.
The Chamber is in good shape. Our finances, staff strength, board engagement, member confidence, and key relationships are strong. The Chamber programs and initiatives are well respected and effective in leading the business community. Our events and activities are successful and appealing to our members.
The Chamber Board met on Tuesday July 25 and accepted by my recommendation to appoint Nort Johnson as the next Chamber President. It is time for a new leader to take the organization to the next level. Nort Johnson came to us two years ago as the Main Street and Tourism Director. Based on his resume he was over qualified for the position he took. His leadership will propel the chamber to new heights and his knowledge of the community and the Chamber organization will make the transition smooth.
These days, nobody really retires before turning 80, so I am hoping to shift to a part time position at the chamber. I am ready to change the pace and scope of my work, but I would like to continue to serve the Chamber in a new capacity. Nort and I have discussed how that will work – at least for the short term. So, no good-byes, please! For the next few months, I’ll remain in my current position. My to-do list is long. Nort will take the lead for 2018 planning with the board and the 2018 budget. Meanwhile, the transition will proceed.
I have considered my work at the chamber a true labor of love. It has been a privilege to work beside business and community leaders to help bring about positive change for our community. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know so many people who care so deeply for this community. Over the years I have been blessed to work with remarkable people both on staff and in volunteer positions. Being able to advocate on behalf of the business community and help businesses make valuable connections while promoting and serving all businesses in Faribault has been an honor for me.
I would like to thank all the volunteers, members, friends of the chamber and colleagues in the industry both past and present for supporting the chamber organization and for your friendship over the years. With your continuing support for the organization and for the staff, the transition will be a positive process with a great outcome for the Chamber.