June 12, 2020 – Executive search firm Waverly Partners has been selected to find the next president and chief executive officer for the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. Former president and CEO Craig Whitney passed away at the end of last year. Managing directors and principals Eric N. Peterson and Deborah M. Galbraith are spearheading the assignment for the search firm.
Steve Swiontek, executive chair of Gate City Bank and a member of the board, is heading a six-member search committee that will work with Waverly Partners to identify qualified local, regional and national candidates.
“Our committee has developed a position profile with the experience and leadership characteristics of our preferred candidate,” Mr. Swiontek said. “We are open to executives with backgrounds in chambers of commerce, economic development, business associations, non-profits, private sector or related experience with a commitment to our mission to expand the economy and quality of life in the region.”
This executive will be the chief voice of the chamber and will operate with a focus that includes public/member relations, lobbying activities, strategic planning, community and region. The CEO will serve as the chief strategist, innovative thinker and collaborative team leader and lead overall program development, fundraising and messaging.
“The CEO should demonstrate expertise in strategic thinking and planning, public policy, member engagement and relationships, program and event management, non-profit governance and operations, public speaking, and have an understanding of economic development,” said Waverly Partners. “The CEO must be a dynamic leader with the ability to build relationships and work collaboratively within the regional community to achieve.”
Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Executive leadership experience (strong staff leadership, delegation and human resource development; has led a complex corporate, chamber, community or economic development organization).
- Public policy (capable of advocating sound public policy and developing effective and even-handed working relationships with elected/appointed officials and their staffs).
- Collaborative relationships (demonstrated track record of developing effective relationships and strategic alliances built on trust among all sectors and constituents).
- Volunteer organization experience (proven ability to motivate and utilize volunteers).
- Economic/business development (works collaboratively with established public sector delivery systems and private sector resources to effectively promote the economic development of a community or region).
- Community/regional development (able to identify both local and regional issues and effectively manage interactions with and among regional organizations to achieve common goals).
- Planning (proven track record of successfully developing and executing operational and strategic plans).
- Governance (significant involvement with board development and recruitment, governance issues, and interactions with sophisticated business leaders serving as directors).
- Fiscal management (demonstrated ability to manage financial affairs of an organization; experience with an annual budget with revenues of at least $1.5 million).
The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state regional federation of nearly 2,000 private, public and non-profit member organizations. The chamber’s mission is to promote economic growth and prosperity for business and its members through leadership in advocacy, education and engagement. It is the largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Formed in 2001, Waverly Partners serves Fortune 500 service and manufacturing corporations, chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, non-profit organizations, professional service firms, private equity firms, hospitals and healthcare systems and colleges and universities nationwide.
The firm has a national reputation of serving chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. The American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the national organization for chamber leaders, has designated Waverly Partners as the preferred provider of executive search services. It is the only firm in the country to have earned this distinction.
Mr. Peterson has 25 years of executive search consulting experience with a track record of recruiting top and senior leaders to executive management, finance, information systems, sales and marketing, operations and human resources positions. He has served Fortune 1000 corporations, hospitals and healthcare systems, privately held businesses and non-profit organizations.
Ms. Galbraith has almost 20 years of executive search consulting, recruiting and operations management experience. Her experience includes search assignments for executive, administrative, operations management, clinical, financial, technology, sales and marketing leaders.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media