The Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”) in Akron, Ohio is one of the larger business membership organizations in Ohio, made up of more than 1,500 members with a $3MM budget, 50+ member Board of Directors and 19 staff. The Chamber is the key economic and community development organization in Akron and Summit County, with additional broad membership support and impact in the contiguous counties of Portage and Medina. The Chamber is seeking a dynamic leader to become its next President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”). The new executive will work with an engaged Board of Directors and committed staff to fulfill the Chamber’s mission to drive economic development and prosperity for the people of Greater Akron. The Chamber serves a tri-county region in Northern Ohio to include Summit, Medina and Portage Counties, with a regional population of over 800,000. This area benefits from a diverse economy that includes aerospace, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, biomedical, automotive, polymers, liquid crystal along with healthcare, higher education, tourism and hospitality.
The Chamber has a 14-member Executive Committee, along with 45 members of the Board of Directors and 13 ex officio members, many of whom represent public sector and nonprofit partner organizations. The Board of Directors has significant “C-level” representation and the organization is supported by hundreds of volunteers from the region along with a 19-member staff. The Chamber’s Chair’s Circle represents over 20 organizations that commit to a significant financial investment to the work of the organization each year. This group meets bimonthly and the CEO serves as the key staff member for those discussions.
The previous CEO served the organization for over 15 years and left earlier in 2017. A former Board member is now serving as Interim CEO and the Board of Directors has embarked on a national search to recruit a new CEO who will guide the Chamber and continue to lead its significant leadership activities in the Greater Akron region. Chamber’s website: www.greaterakronchamber.org
The Greater Akron area is located in the northeastern quadrant of the State of Ohio and the Summit-Portage-Medina County region is home to over 800,000 people. Summit County is the largest county, with over 540,000 residents. The City of Akron in Summit County has over 190,000 residents with the remaining population living in over 20 municipalities and villages in the County. The region is easily accessible via I-77, I-76 and I-80 highways and the Akron-Canton Regional Airport.
The President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of the Chamber reports to the Chair of the 15-member Executive Committee of the Chamber’s 58-member Board of Directors (13 are ex officio). The CEO is an ex officio member of both the Executive Committee, which meets bi-monthly, and the full Board, which meets quarterly. The Chamber also has a 20+ member Chair’s Circle, an influential group of community and business leaders representing the area’s most successful corporations and organizations, which also meets bi-monthly and is staffed by the CEO.
The CEO will lead the 18-member Chamber staff, with direct supervision of: Executive Vice President-Economic Development, Senior Vice President; Senior Manager-Finance; Director-Government Affairs; and Executive Assistant.
Other important interactions include: executives and employees of Chamber member organizations; county and municipal elected and appointed officials; state and national elected officials; representatives of other public and private sector organizations with related community and economic development missions; education officials; and members of the media.
The President & Chief Executive Officer provides the leadership, direction and management for all aspects of Chamber activities and is responsible for ensuring that the strategic initiatives and policies of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Chair’s Circle are effectively implemented. The President & Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the full range of activities to ensure the Chamber’s success in meeting its economic development, business advocacy, community development, membership services and special program goals and objective.
This CEO position is an outstanding opportunity for a chamber of commerce, economic development, association, nonprofit or private sector executive to lead and grow a successful regional Chamber organization in a vibrant region of Northeastern Ohio with tremendous potential. The CEO will have the benefit of working with a highly committed and influential Board of Directors. This executive must set a pace and create a vision to tackle existing challenges and take advantage of future opportunities.
Many key private and public-sector organizations in Greater Akron have relatively new leadership and they collectively recognize their area is poised for a significant step forward. The person selected for the CEO position at the Chamber will be one of the community’s key drivers for that to occur. The Greater Akron region has a track record of supporting important initiatives to move the city forward and the new CEO can count on a dedicated staff and volunteer leadership to support him/her in efforts to elevate the regional community to new levels of success.
The ideal candidate must have a proven track record of success and may come from a variety of backgrounds such as: the top executive of a progressive comparably-sized chamber of commerce, economic development organization, or related significant business association; experience as a “second in command” or other senior-level executive at a larger like-enterprise as noted above; an executive with a strong record of community involvement from a complex private or public-sector entity. Experience serving a regional marketplace along with significant Board interaction and experience leading large numbers of volunteers are all strongly desired. A Bachelors degree is required; an advanced degree in business, law, public administration or related field is desirable. If currently serving in a similar organization, a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management, Certified Chamber Executive designation or Certified Economic Developer designation is desirable.
Additional Salary Information: Compensation commensurate with experience.
WAVERLY PARTNERS is a national retained executive search firm with consultants located in Atlanta, Charleston, Charlottesville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Greenwich, Kansas City and Toledo. We have been designated as the only "preferred provider" of executive search services by ACCE. WAVERLY PARTNERS is a generalist search firm, serving nationwide clients including chambers of commerce, ec...onomic development and other nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, Fortune 1000 service and manufacturing corporations, privately held entrepreneurial growth companies, hospitals and healthcare organizations, and professional service firms.