Archive for Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hank Booth named interim president and CEO of Lawrence Chamber of Commerce

August 10, 2011


A current chamber executive and longtime radio personality will serve as the interim president and CEO of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

Hank Booth will take over as the chamber’s interim leader once current president and CEO Tom Kern leaves on Sept. 2 for a similar job in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

“There is only one Hank, and he can get in doors and create conversations that are important for us to maintain during this transition,” said Cindy Yulich, chair of the chamber’s board of directors. “He was a natural choice.”

Booth currently serves as the chamber’s director of government and community affairs. Booth also is the former general manager and a longtime morning news and talk show host on Lawrence-based KLWN radio.

“I’ve spent my entire life in Lawrence and am honored to have the chance to lead the chamber during this transition,” Booth said in a release.

Booth said he would focus on maintaining relationships with community partners during this period of transition. Booth also said he does not intend to be a candidate for the president and CEO position.

Yulich said it is still too soon to estimate when the chamber will fill the position.


kshiker 6 years, 3 months ago

Hank is a great guy and will do a great job. Maybe they should have hired someone eminently qualified like yourselves. You all are not qualified to run a lemonade stand let alone a trade organization. I feel sorry for anyone who takes this job in the poisonous atmosphere we have towards job creators in this town.

kshiker 6 years, 3 months ago

I would be surprised if any of you overachievers has ever went through Leadership Lawrence. You will note that Hank is "interim" CEO, which means they will eventually be hiring someone on a "permanent" basis.

realityplease 6 years, 3 months ago

Wilbur, the actual search for this position has not started yet. It may mean that some graduates of Leadership Lawrence will apply. However these individuals have full time jobs and can't step in for an interim position at the flip of a hat. Hank Booth is a current staff member of the Chamber therefore was in the position to step in for the interim until the permanent individual is hired.
I would be surprised if you have ever gone thru Leadership Lawrence. It is not a program which grooms individuals to become Chamber President/CEO. It is a program which helps each class member find what their strengths are, understand the Kansas Leadership Center compentencies and learn more about Lawrence and where they can best use their strengths in the city. As a past graduate, its something I strongly recommend for anyone to find out where their niche is. But it may not be the President position at the Chamber. Each individual has to decide for themselves. So instead of questioning where we are at, learn more about the program. Some of us are silent leaders and some are more apt to apply for positions such as this. Just stay tuned....

LTownBaby 6 years, 3 months ago

Because we live in Lawrence, and no job growth is going to happen until we stop turning the likes of American Eagle Distribution Centers/Lowes away just because a few want to complain about it!

Tim Quest 6 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, and thank god for that - otherwise I wouldn't be caught dead at those worthless "networking" mixers. No, I already have insurance, thanks.

Clinton Laing 6 years, 3 months ago

As someone who has known Hank for years and has been a member an organization he belongs to (and is active in), I can say he is not only the best person to lead Lawrence's Chamber to help promote business, he cares very deeply for the city and its future. This isn't an easy job, and you people should shut the h*ll up about this fine man. If you want to step up and help this city, get involved and do something other than throw rocks from the sidelines. You make me sick.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

Good job, Hank, and good luck. You are an asset to the entire community.

tbecs 6 years, 3 months ago

Oneeye--Why are you so concerned with how much he is going to be paid? How much are YOU paid? Only a small portion of that salary comes from the City and County...most is from membership dues.

Also--Hank has never held this position before. I don't know where you are getting your info. Seems like you have something against him. Hank is an amazing member of our community who gives more than any other person I have ever known. He is always volunteering to help local non-profits raise funds or just raise awareness of the cause. He has spent a great deal of time in the past few years as the Government and Community Affairs Director for the Chamber developing relationships with City, County, State and Federal officials. He is moderate and understands the importance of listening to all sides. He can get people to sit down at the table together that would normally not even be in the same room together.

You don't want them to have a leader during the search for a new CEO? Would you expect any business to run smoothly without leadership? Plus I am sure all of the companies that are looking for new locations would feel just super comfortable going to a community with no one leading the ship. Hank owned a local business for many years and is the only person on staff with any experience leading an organization.

Maybe you should get a list of graduates of Leadership Lawrence and see what positions they hold in the community as well as what organizations they volunteer for. You ask such basic questions and the info is very easy to get ahold of if you really wanted to have an answer.

And what are you leading Oneeye? How many non-profit organizations do you volunteer for? How many hours a week are you doing something other than making nasty comments on this website? You want such specifics from others...lay it out for us! Give us a run down of the money and/or time you have donated in the last month. Heck the last year! Let us know what you are doing to make this community stronger. Complaining without action is a waste of everyone's time.

thefactsare 6 years, 3 months ago

@tbecs - sounds like you might be a little on the defensive. Or maybe you are a family member of Hank?

tbecs 6 years, 3 months ago

Not on the defensive and not a family member...just tired of people complaining about what the City/County/Chamber doesn't do right and then doing nothing to make it better. So many people sit behind their computers and whine and moan about the actions of others but don't go out and actually try to make a difference. I have had the pleasure of working with Hank on projects and I also see how he the work he has done in the past few years because I take the time to be involved.

Joe Hyde 6 years, 3 months ago

The newspaper print edition of this story carries a photo of Hank and, wow, Hank, you look slimmer, trimmer and more handsome than you did even in high school.

BTW, I still feel awful about not having my bird dog "decaffeinated" early enough to keep him from learning how to climb over 6-ft. high chain link fencing. Definitely a lesson learned. My new dog has a nose just as keen, but she'll never bake bisquits in that oven.

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