Regional Chamber Begins Search for New CEO

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s board of directors will begin a search this fall for a new president and CEO this fall.

The position “represents a leadership opportunity to bring the organization to ‘the next level,’ along with an exciting role” in defining the Mahoning Valley for years to come, the chamber said in an announcement Thursday afternoon.

The new president/CEO, which the chamber plans to have in place by the first quarter of 2021, will succeed Tom Humphries, who returned to helm the chamber last November after the board voted not to renew the contract of James Dignan. Dignan took the position in March 2017 after Humphries retired following 20 years in the position.

“I was asked to come back until they could do a search again,” Humphries said in a phone interview after the announcement was made. “I agreed to a one-year contract and I told them I would renew it on a month-to-month basis going forward at the end of the year.”      

During his time back at the chamber, Humphries addressed “financial challenges,” the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the chamber’s move to its new offices in June and getting the chamber staff “working more as a team,” he said. 

The “ideal candidate for this position,” the chamber said in its announcement, is serving as the top executive of an economic development-focused organization, comparable chamber of commerce or related significant business association. 

“Alternative experience includes serving as a senior executive at a larger [similar] enterprise … or as an executive from a complex private- or public- sector entity. A bachelor’s degree is required in the humanities, political science, business, public administration, economics or other related concentration. Advanced degrees are preferred,” the statement continued.

A nine-person committee made up of eight board members and one chamber member and led by Michael Schrock, Mahoning Valley regional president for TCF Bank and a vice chairman of the chamber board, will conduct the search, Humphries said. 

Applications are being accepted through Oct. 16. The chamber is marketing the position in the Cleveland-Pittsburgh region, but also is considering internal candidates, though it is “premature” to announce who they are, Humphries said.  

“I’ve offered to be able to support whoever they choose if they would ask me to do that,” Humphries said. “If they don’t, that’s fine too.”  

Those interested in learning more about the position and its requirements and about the Regional Chamber, or anyone interested in applying for the position, should visit RegionalChamber.com/ceo

Anyone with questions should contact Humphries at 330 307 6525 or tom@regionalchamber.com

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.