September 26, 2023 – Following an extensive national search, executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global has assisted in the recruitment of Bobbi-Jo Meuleman as the new chief executive officer for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce in Idaho. She will be replacing current president and CEO Bill Connors who announced his intent to retire earlier this year. Nicole Newman, the search firm’s vice president, led the assignment. “We are excited for Bobbi-Jo to be Bill’s successor as the CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber,” said Odette Bolano, chair of Boise Metro Chamber. “She has demonstrated her ability to work closely with the business community over the last four years as the deputy chief of staff for Gov. (Brad) Little and previously as the director of Idaho Department of Commerce.”
“The committee made a wonderful decision,” said Mr. Connors. “Bobbi-Jo’s experience in economic development and tourism efforts fits perfectly to oversee the chamber, the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, and Visit Boise. Her respect and influence in the advocacy arena will be a tremendous asset to the organization.”
Mr. Connors will remain president and CEO until Ms. Meuleman starts on Oct 2., and then will be instrumental in the transition of responsibilities on a part time basis until the end of the year as president emeritus.
A search committee made up of 10 chamber board members and officers selected Ms. Meuleman from a large pool of local and national candidates. Ms. Bolano, the CEO West Region of Saint Alphonsus, oversaw the three-month long search process.
Ms. Meuleman has an extensive career in government affairs and economic development. Having served as deputy chief of staff and director of intergovernmental affairs for both governors Little and C.L. Otter. Ms. Meuleman also held a cabinet post as Idaho’s director of commerce which oversees the state’s economic development efforts and tourism promotion efforts. She started her career in Washington, D.C. as a staffer for Sen. Conrad Burns and Rep. Denny Rehberg. Ms. Meuleman is a member of multiple boards and community organizations.
“The Boise Metro Chamber has been front and center in promoting the Valley business community,” said Ms. Meuleman. “There is a reason Boise is the destination businesses are choosing to locate and expand. I look forward to carrying on the great work of Bill and the board to ensure all Boise area business can succeed.”
The Boise Metro Chamber is Idaho’s only five-star accredited chamber. It is also Idaho’s largest business-first organization, advocating for the advancement of business and community. The non-profit is a convener for thought leadership, a catalyst for business growth, and a champion for change on issues that matter to the Treasure Valley business community. The programs and services the chamber provides support four core areas: economic vitality, advocacy, member education, and member engagement. The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce serves 1,900-plus member businesses representing more than 160,000 employees through the Boise Metro area.
SearchWide Global, based in St. Paul, MN, is a full-service executive recruitment firm primarily for companies in the travel, tourism, hospitality, convention, trade association, venue management, and experiential marketing industries. The firm specializes in C-level and director-level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations.
SearchWide Global Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
SearchWide Global has assisted in the recruitment of Herschel Herndon as chief diversity officer for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) in Boston. Executive recruiter Donna Thornton led the assignment. “We are thrilled to welcome Herschel and have him join the leadership team at the MCCA,” said David Gibbons, executive director of the MCCA. “After a comprehensive search process, it was clear that Herschel’s leadership capabilities, experience, and knowledge of the DEI landscape makes him the perfect person to lead our efforts in truly making the MCCA an employer of choice.”
Ms. Newman works in all sectors of the hospitality and travel industry. Her experience in group sales, catering, and event planning, according to clients, gives her a unique perspective on executive level recruitment.
The firm recently filled chief executive officer positions for Visit Aurora, Visit Baltimore, the Greater Newark Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, Visit West Hollywood, Kentucky State Fair Board, and the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. SearchWide Global is currently engaged in searches for top leaders at Discover the Palm Beaches and Visit Santa Cruz County, among others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media