March 24, 2020 – Following an extensive nationwide search, Diversified Search has placed Jim Gerlach as the new president and chief executive officer of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) in Reading, PA. He replaces Randy Peers who resigned last July to pursue other interests.
“Jim’s history of public service, high integrity and ability to work with a wide variety of constituencies will serve him and our community well in the years ahead,” said Dan Langdon, board chairman.
Mr. Gerlach previously served as president and CEO of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) and spent 12 years in both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature representing the 6th district. While serving in Congress, he received perfect scores from BIPAC’s Outline for Prosperity. He also received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award and was repeatedly named as a “Guardian of Small Business.”
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community, and we rely on local industry for jobs that offer living wages and support our economy,” Mr. Gerlach said. “The Reading area is home to a thriving business community and diverse commercial and industrial enterprises. I’m looking forward to serving as an advocate for this community and supporting Greater Reading’s continued growth and prosperity.”
“We’re thrilled to have found a partner in Diversified Search that will ensured our next president exhibits the passion for growing business and community in the greater Reading area,” said Jeffrey R. Rush, chairman of the search committee and president – commercial markets, Fulton Bank.
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance assist companies to retain, expand, and grow their operations and employment, and attract new business to Berks County. Its mission is “to be Berks County’s leading resource for building a healthy, competitive business community.”
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Diversified Search is the largest U.S. female-owned and founded firm in the executive recruitment industry. It has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Diversified is the U.S. partner of AltoPartners, an international alliance of 58 independent executive search firms that spans 35 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Diversified has a track record of identifying, assessing and recruiting leaders to the education, non-profit, and arts and culture sectors. In 2019, the firm acquired Koya Leadership Partners, the nation’s premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Many of Diversified’s consultants have served as education and non-profit administrators and leaders, giving them firsthand knowledge of these environments and organizational dynamics.
Sector In Search of New Leaders
Economic and community development organizations continue to turn to executive search firms to find new leaders. Here’s a look at a few recent searches across the sector from the Hunt Scanlon Media newswire archives:
Greensboro, NC-based Jorgenson Consulting has helped to place Cecilia Harry as chief economic development officer for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC in Colorado. “Cecilia’s background in leading economic development programs and producing results in attracting jobs and capital investment are critical to moving Colorado Springs forward,” said Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the non-profit economic development group. “Her experience in cultivating relationships in a membership environment bodes well with our values and mission to our stakeholders. We are thrilled to have her on board.”
Waverly Partners has been selected to find the next president and CEO for the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance, an economic development corporation in Illinois. Managing directors and principals Eric N. Peterson and Deborah M. Galbraith are spearheading the assignment for the search firm. “The president and CEO position of the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance is an outstanding opportunity for an economic development, chamber, municipal leader or private sector executive to lead a well-respected organization committed to the success of the business sector and overall economy and quality of life in the Springfield and Sangamon County region,” said Waverly Partners.
The Chason Group placed Colin T. Martin as president and CEO of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce in Fayetteville, GA. Mr. Martin has experience in many arenas, including large and small chambers of commerce, said the Chason Group. He previously served as president of the Harris County Chamber of Commerce in west Georgia and has also guided governmental affairs for the Greater Columbus (GA) Chamber of Commerce, both as a volunteer and staff member.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media