Archive for Friday, September 5, 2008

Chamber of Commerce interviews 2nd candidate for CEO post

An interview with Tom Kern, the second candidate to be the next president and CEO for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

September 5, 2008


Candidate: Tom Kern

Hometown: McLean, Va.; grew up in Royal Oak, Mich.

Occupation: Senior vice president and chief operating officer, Fairfax County (Va.) Chamber of Commerce since 2006.

Past experience: Red Management in Traverse City, Mich., vice president of affordable housing in 2006; executive director of the National Cherry Festival event in Traverse City, 1991-2005; Properties North Inc., CEO, Traverse City, January to December 1990; executive vice president of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 1986-1989, and president of the Port Authority of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, 1985-1989; assistant city manager of Blue Ash, Ohio, 1980-1985, and assistant to the city manager, Traverse City, 1977-1980.

Education: Bachelor's degree in public administration and economics, 1976, Eastern Michigan University; master's degree in public administration, 1977, San Diego State University.

Why he wants the job: "The community is highly respected. It's a university town. It's very dynamic. It's got a very dynamic business community, and that's what I was looking for - a place where there are great people to work with."

Possible plans: Meet with community leaders and collaborate to work toward a consensus and "move that vision forward."

Strengths: "Tom's a great organizer. He's a very thorough individual and genuine person. We like the way he interacts with people," said Jim Otten, a Lawrence dentist and chamber chairman.

Chamber of Commerce interviews 2nd candidate for CEO post

The second finalist to lead the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce presented himself on Thursday.


Richard Heckler 9 years, 8 months ago

Are these prospects aware that Lawrence,Kansas has been advised more than once that it is over built in retail and residential?Why does a local Chamber of Commerce need a high dollar CEO and organizer?The past CEO's have supported a high tax dollar bedroom community projects and the Chamber continues to do so.Lawrence,Kansas has convinced me that all new development projects and hope for Green Collar industries should transferred to City Hall. This could easily be financed with an estimated $ 200,000 tax dollar subsidy paid by Lawrence taxpayers to our secret operated Chamber of Commerce. I like transparency!This Chamber of Commerce works way to hard to put existing business out of business. With all due respect Tom Kern does not show experience in attracting industry to communities much less green collar industries.

ilovelucy 9 years, 8 months ago

Merrill: if you are not a member of the Chamber, then I suggest you think about joining. That way, you could share your thoughts with them instead of posting on blogs all day.The Chamber needs more people like you in the organization!

Richard Heckler 9 years, 8 months ago

Since when does the Chamber NOT want our tax dollars for their projects. Every new developer project on the table requires tax dollars. A donation of $200,000 tax dollars to an organization that works so hard to placing existing business people out of business seems counterproductive use of tax dollars aimed at creating NEW jobs and ADDITIONAL NEW revenue.Revenue dollars moving from one side of town to another is NOT economic growth. That is economic displacement aka economic pollution.The LJW did not list the accomplishments regarding locating new revenue to a city overloaded in retail and residential. Lawrence cannot afford empty warehouse sitesor more housing.

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