The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce on Monday announced it has named Lavern Squier, Hays, as the chamber's new president and chief executive officer.
Squier, who is executive director for the Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development in Hays, will tentatively start in his new position in July.
"We know that Lavern's presence here as CEO is a real plus for us," Larry McElwain, chair of the chamber's board of directors, said in a prepared statement. "We are pleased to have been able to hire a Kansan who has proven himself as an advocate for economic development and a 'problem solver' for Kansas issues."
The chamber had been searching for a new CEO since late November when Bill Sepic decided to move on to the Lansing, Mich., Chamber of Commerce.
Out of more than 100 applicants, Squier was one of the two finalists who visited the Lawrence and Douglas County area in early April and met with community leaders.
Squier has been responsible for Ellis County's public/private economic development efforts since 1991. He has worked on development issues involving water, the downtown, air service, healthcare expansion, physician recruitment and regional development. He was also responsible for planning and implementing marketing missions in the U.S. and Japan.
Squier was responsible for business recruitment for Wichita and surrounding cities from 1989-1991 in the position of vice president business development for the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, Wichita/Sedgwick County Partnership for Growth Inc.
He is a graduate of Fort Hays State University, with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture/business.