Thursday Sep 11 2008
Chamber CEO announces resignation
By: Liz Kellar The News Messenger
Two members of downtown merchants group also step down
Two local business groups are facing some major rebuilding this week. The chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce, Bobbi Park, announced her resignation on Friday. And over the weekend, the president and the events co-chairman of the Historic Downtown Lincoln Merchants Associa-tion, Kathy Dorsey and Jeff Greenberg, resigned their positions. Mike Lee, president of the chamber, said that Park will leave the organization effective Sept. 30 to pursue an opportunity assisting military veterans with educational opportunities while they are transitioning to civilian life following active duty. Park, who has served as the CEO for the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce since January 2007, is the founder of the Placer County Branch of Operation: Mom. “Working with our military veterans has been a long-time passion for me, and the opportunity to lead the chamber for these past few years has helped prepare me for this incredible opportunity to assist our local heroes as they transition into their civilian business and vocational goals,” Park said in a prepared statement. “The chamber’s leadership responsibilities have provided excellent career and skill enhancement for me, and I am grateful to the chamber board and membership for the opportunities and the friendships I’ve had the privilege of experiencing these last two years.” “We are happy for Bobbi that she is able to pursue her dream, and are grateful to her for her service to the chamber,” Lee said in the prepared statement. “We wish her all the best, and look forward to her continuing involvement in the chamber and in the community. On behalf of the chamber board, we hope members and residents will stop by the chamber office before Sept. 30 to give Bobbi their best wishes in her new career.” Lee said an executive search for Park’s replacement will begin immediately. “As you can imagine, we’re in a little bit of a scramble mode,” said Tina McCauslin, the president-elect of the chamber. “Replacing the CEO position is not like hiring a receptionist – you can’t just call a temp agency.” McCauslin said the executive committee is discussing the possibility of hiring an interim CEO while the search is being conducted for a permanent replacement. “We just don’t have the answer yet,” she said. “We want to find someone who fits not just the chamber, but also the businesses of Lincoln. It takes finding the right person with the right qualities and the right personality.” The Lincoln Showcase, arguably the chamber’s biggest event of the year, is scheduled for Sept. 27, prior to Park’s departure. “We’re very hopefully optimistic that the energy and excitement for that event is carried through the staff and the committee members, as well as the volunteers,” McCauslin said. “We hope the event will be, if not the best ever, then at the least be the event we have come to know.” The resignation of Dorsey from the downtown merchants’ association was discussed at its board meeting Tuesday. “I felt it was time for a change,” Dorsey said Tuesday. “I felt I had accomplished all I could.” Dorsey said she would remain involved with the association and continue to serve as co-chair of the arts committee. Dorsey and Greenberg did not attend the meeting; any decision on naming a new president was tabled for a week.