Slow economy assists Carbondale chamber with its executive director search |

Slow economy assists Carbondale chamber with its executive director search

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” The economic downturn has been a boon of sorts for the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce in its search for a new executive director.

The chamber has received more than 15 applications for the position being vacated by Randi Lowenthal, who announced last month that she will be leaving the chamber post to start a new local nonprofit organization designed to help businesses succeed during tough economic times.

Bob Pazik, former vice president of the chamber board who is heading up the search for a replacement, said the downturn in certain sectors such as real estate and marketing has actually aided the search.

“We are getting a lot of people with community service backgrounds, as well as people with marketing and real estate consulting backgrounds,” Pazik said.

Most of the applicants are from the Roaring Fork Valley, although some have come in from elsewhere in Colorado and from out of state, he said.

“I think the economy in general has impacted employment, and made some professionals available that wouldn’t have been otherwise,” Pazik said. “Certainly, you have to wonder if the real estate market was still booming whether those people would have applied.”

Pazik said he has so far done preliminary interviews with seven applicants with three more scheduled, although applications are still being accepted. He hopes to have a list of three to five finalists to the chamber’s four-person executive committee by week’s end.

The executive committee will conduct the finalist interviews, and could possibly make a decision within two weeks, he said. The salary for the position is between $55,000 and $65,000.

“The final decision is at the executive committee’s discretion,” Pazik said.

Lowenthal will continue as executive director until Feb. 1, and has said she would be available beyond that time if need be. In her five years with the chamber, membership has grown from about 120 members to about 585.

She intends to have the new Roaring Fork Business Resource Center up and running by August.

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