HUDSON — The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is searching for a new leader.

The chamber is seeking someone to fill the president’s position, which has been vacant since last November.

“I think the organization needs a leader to run effectively for our members,” said chamber board of directors chairman Derick H. LaTorre. “We are managing, we have good staff there, but they would be much better served with somebody in a permanent role.”

The board announced Tuesday it is accepting applications for the president/CEO role.

“This is the start of the process,” said LaTorre. “We have a search committee that was formed from the board of the directors. We are looking, and encouraging qualified candidates to apply.”

LaTorre said a handful of prospective candidates expressed early interest in the position prior to the beginning of the board’s search but he does not know how many applicants will apply. The deadline to apply is March 10. Resumes can be submitted to 1 North Front St., Hudson, NY 12534, or emailed to

The president/CEO serves as the visible leader of the chamber, according to the job’s description. The individual will act as the communicator, facilitator and interactive community planner, developing, implementing and assessing chamber programs, projects and events. The position is responsible for the oversight and management of all aspects of chamber business and prepare material for monthly board and executive committee meetings.

The chamber and former president Jeffrey Hunt parted ways last November after the board of directors was made aware of some irregularities in finances, said LaTorre. Board members were not specific about what the irregularities were.

During the interim, office manager Amy Kneller has been handling the president’s duties. She said the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce has about 600 members and the new president/CEO position does not have a salary listed because the amount will be negotiated and vary depending on experience.

“We obviously want somebody who has some leadership experience, somebody who has some economic development or tourism experience,” said LaTorre. “Experience working with community relationships and government relationships, somebody that has experience in event management and also has the ability to implement technology strategies.”

LaTorre said the chamber is a membership-based organization, so the new president/CEO will have to be effective for the members. He added it takes a certain type of person to do that.

In addition to having a background in economic development and tourism, the job listing on the chamber website states the new president/CEO needs to have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration, developing and planning or a related field.

Qualified candidates must also have at least five years of upper-level management in personnel, community relations, sales, marketing, budgeting, operations and government relations.

LaTorre said he does not know when a new president/CEO will be chosen because it depends on how many applications are submitted. After all the resumes are received the search committee will review them and begin the process of scheduling interviews. The interview process could take a few months, depending on the number of applicants.

“CEDC looks forward to our continued partnership with the Columbia County chamber,” said Columbia Economic Development Corp. President F. Michael Tucker. “We look forward to the chamber’s new selection as we continue our ongoing partnership in support of businesses throughout the county.”

The job description also says a successful candidate must have excellent interpersonal, communication skills and demonstrate a commitment to working collaboratively with the chamber’s many partners.

“We have a great partnership with the chamber,” said Tucker. “We support chamber-related efforts and they support our economic development efforts and we look forward to continuing that relationship under their new leadership.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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