It’s all nicely worded, of course, but I’ve long been a critic of Kathy’s leadership and her departure is long overdue IMHO. For example, see my remarks in this 2008 blog post and the attached thread of 100+ comments. I’m guessing that the Chamber’s ongoing drop in membership numbers had something to do with her resignation.
CHAMBER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STEPS DOWN
NORTHFIELD, MINN. (February 28, 2012) – After 31 years of service to the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Kathy Feldbrugge announced this week that she is resigning her role as executive director effective at the end of April 2012. She informed the Board of Directors on Monday at its monthly Board meeting and the Chamber membership was notified through an email from Chamber President Rick Estenson.
Estenson said, “On behalf of the members of the Chamber, we thanked Kathy for her tireless work and guidance to the business community. Thirty-five years of service in Chamber work – all but four of them with the Northfield Chamber – is a wonderful feat. We will be looking for ways to express our appreciation to Kathy in the days ahead.” The Chamber Board will meet again later this week with Feldbrugge to begin an Executive Director search and explore the ingredients of a smooth transition, according to Estenson.
The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce is a business organization that promotes the Northfield area and the local business community. Feldbrugge said, “The Chamber is comprised of local businesses and business-minded individuals who have banded together with one goal in mind: to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interests of the community. In short, the Chamber is here to help businesses thrive.”
Feldbrugge emphasized that she is not retiring, but is merely looking to take on another challenge in her career. “I feel as though I have one more stop left in my career and I’m looking for a new challenge to energize me,” she said. “This was a very difficult decision for me. I knew if I was going to make a career shift, now was the time. I grew up in this Chamber. I’ve seen its highs and lows. I’ve come to love this community and the businesses it nurtures. I’ll miss my leadership role in the Chamber, but I’m looking forward to my next challenge.” Feldbrugge said she does not yet know what that challenge will be. “I’ve always been 100 percent committed to the Chamber’s success and the vitality of the business community in Northfield,” Feldbrugge explained. “I couldn’t maintain that commitment while at the same time looking for my next career move so I decided this announcement was the best for all involved.”
Estenson added, “This is a courageous move by Kathy. I wish her nothing but the best as she identifies her next opportunity.”
Estenson also said the Chamber is moving full speed ahead. “Although Kathy’s departure will leave a void,” he said, “it also creates opportunities, which is true with any transition.” He said the Chamber Board remains “committed to improving the business climate in Northfield and we are aggressively seeking ways to enhance the Chamber’s value to its members.”
Businesses and individuals interested in joining the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce are invited to call 507.645.5604 or visit online at www.northfieldchamber.com.