New CEO Selected for Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce
Sandy Evans Hall lead the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce for 25 years before taking a similar job near Lake Tahoe this summer. So the search for a new Chamber leader in this time of economic duress truly took on a sense of urgency and required a dedication to doing the utmost due-diligence to find the right person to lead our community into another winter where we’ll be competing with numerous ski resorts for what looks to be another season that will suffer from the effects of an economic slump. To say this new hire will be expected to hit the ground running would be an understatement.
It seems we found the perfect person for Steamboat Springs Chamber CEO job in Thomas Kern, an experienced community leader and longtime Steamboat Springs’ visitor who already has a group of friends awaiting his arrival as a full-time resident. Highlights of the experience he brings with him include:
* CEO of the Chamber of Commerce in Lawrence, Kansas – Rock, chalk Jayhawk if you know what that means (and you do if you’re a Kansas fan!)
* Chamber COO in Fairfax County, VA (just across the Potomac from our nation’s capital)
* EVP and COO of the Greater Cincinnati (OH) Chamber
* President of the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, MI and County Commissioner in Grand Traverse County
Along with his great resume comes a reputation for being a consensus builder among various public and private groups, as well as having experience in existing business retention and new business recruiting. All these skills and perhaps more will be needed when he assumes his new role in September.
In Steamboat Springs’ tourism driven market, the need for marketing Steamboat Springs extends beyond tourism into attracting new business start-ups and location neutral professionals. We are a community as well as a world-class resort, so the needs our new Chamber CEO has to address are multifaceted. And of course Mr. Kern will also need to devote time, energy and resources to increasing Chamber membership beyond the resort and retail members who dominate the roster now. Full time residents are eager to embrace a community leader with skills to meet these needs, and second home, part-time residents might just spend more time here if Steamboat Springs, CO becomes a more business friendly community.
While there’s a lot to tackle, and the economy is not going to provide any assistance, it sure seems like we’ve chosen the right guy to come in and lead us to the new level we need to attain in order to attract the tourists, businesses and professionals our Ski Town USA® is so deserving of.
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