Chamber of Commerce seeks director

By Gus Bode

Whoever the new executive director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce turns out to be, they will be charged with a daunting task – to keep the business community’s momentum going forward and create a little push of their own.

Executive Director Joel Sambursky turned in his resignation last week, and (newly appointed President of the Chamber Board of Directors) Woody Thorne said the search committee – comprised of members of the board of directors – has begun the search for a new director. They hope to find a new executive director by the end of January.

“It’d be fair to say we’d like to do it as soon as possible, but we’re more interested in getting the right person than doing it within some artificial timeline,” Thorne said.


He said the chamber has posted the position and several applications have already been submitted.

Thorne said the new executive director would be able to step into a good situation set up by former board president Mary Mechler and Sambursky- who is moving to a job in the financial sector.

“We have a lot to be thankful for in terms of the leadership Mary’s provided and that Joel’s provided, and we want to kind of keep that momentum going forward,” Thorne said.

He said, during Mechler’s three years as the president and especially during Sambursky’s year as executive director, the chamber has revamped itself and increased its visibility within the community.

Thorne said the chamber has increased networking among members and has been a stronger advocate for the business community in recent years. Membership in the chamber has also increased recently.

City Manager Jeff Doherty said the chamber is a vital resource for the city in its economic development efforts.

“We work closely with the business community and we do so in many ways through the Chamber of Commerce,” Doherty said. “So, we’re really partners in the economic development effort for the community.”


He said the chamber helps the city with support and information for economic development, and that the executive director is the chamber’s representative in that role.

Thorne said Sambursky would stay at the chamber until the end of the month, so the search committee has time to find someone who can effectively take on all of the duties of the executive director.

Thorne said the main duties of the new executive director would include being the communication link between the chamber and the business community. The executive director must also recruit and sustain the growth of membership in the chamber. He also said the new director must be able to effectively administer new chamber programs and run the day to day business operations.

Thorne said the new executive director must have a Bachelor’s Degree, and the committee would like to find someone with chamber of commerce experience or equivalent business or association experience.

Brandon Augsburg can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 262 or [email protected]