President Position Summary
Position Summary President & Chief Executive Officer ~ Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce was established in 1911 and is the largest business association in Northern New Jersey with over 1,200 members ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to entrepreneurial businesses. The Chamber’s mission is to be a business organization which represents and advances the business interests of its members. With a focus on serving members in Union, Essex, Middlesex and Somerset Counties, the Chamber is the only multi-county association in Northern and Central New Jersey. The Gateway Regional Chamber has the unique structure of serving as an umbrella organization for over a dozen regional and local chambers and networking groups in its regional footprint. Organizations that join the Gateway Regional Chamber automatically gain membership in each affiliate. The Chamber presents over 180 events each year, including networking socials, educational business seminars, special interest group gatherings, gala award dinners, business expos, trade fairs, and local activities. In addition, Gateway’s size allows the Chamber to negotiate savings on business services for members, such as credit card processing, telecommunications, training, health insurance, dental programs, and a wide range of other services. The organization is also focused as an effective advocate for the business community at a federal, state and local level. The Chamber publishes Inside Business magazine, a quarterly news publication with an estimated readership of over 75,000.
Jim Coyle served as the Chamber’s CEO for over 26 years and stepped down at the end of 2022. The Board of Directors has therefore embarked on an executive search to recruit a new leader to guide the Chamber and its prominent business leadership activities within the region.
President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) reports to the Chair of the 10-member Executive Committee of the Chamber’s 28-member Board of Directors. Both the Executive Committee and the full Board meet monthly. The CEO leads and directs the Chamber’s staff: Vice President, Operations Specialist, Marketing Coordinator and a contract Editor of Inside Business magazine. Other important interactions include: representatives and employees of Chamber member organizations; county and municipal elected and appointed officials; state and national elected officials and their staffs; representatives of other public and private sector organizations with related community and economic development missions; university, technical college and K-12 education officials; and members of the media. The CEO is responsible for the comprehensive planning and operation of the organization including but not limited to: annual business plan; strategic plan; recruitment and motivation of volunteers; budget; employment, training and supervision of staff; advocacy; interpretation of policy; and other necessary functions of a highly effective chamber of commerce. The CEO is the chief spokesperson of the Chamber and operates with a focus that includes public/member relations and advocacy activities.
Ideal candidate will bring 10+ years of progressively responsible experience, with a minimum of 4 years in senior leadership and may come from a variety of backgrounds such as, but not limited to: the top executive of a progressive and comparably sized chamber of commerce, or related significant business association; experience as a “second in command” or other senior-level executive at a larger like-enterprise as noted above; an executive with a strong record of community involvement from a complex private or public-sector entity. Board interaction, experience leading large numbers of volunteers, and demonstrated experience overcoming challenges are all strongly desired. A Bachelor’s degree is required. If a candidate brings experience in the chamber industry, then a graduate of U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management or Certified Chamber Executive designation is desirable.
Outstanding opportunity for a chamber of commerce, association, or perhaps private sector executive to lead an organization committed to the success of growing the Gateway region. The Chamber enjoys strong member relations and reputation with key organizations in the area along with solid fiscal results. The CEO will inherit an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and dedicated Chamber staff and a committed Board of Directors.While the Chamber is in a solid position today, the Chamber’s volunteer leaders have high expectations for the Chamber’s new leader, especially in a post-covid era. The organization will benefit from a fresh set of eyes to look at all aspects of operations, communication and member engagement in an effort to demonstrate the Chamber’s continued impact and relevance.
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Contact: The client organization we represent, and Waverly Partners firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. If you are aware of an outstanding chamber, association or business executive who meets the profile requirements, please contact Waverly Partners, the executive search firm retained by the Chamber Board on this search and the preferred provider of executive search services of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Deborah M. Galbraith, Managing Director & Principal WAVERLY PARTNERS, Kansas City, Kansas O: 785.856.9273; C: 785.764.2920; [email protected]
Eric N. Peterson, Managing Director & Principal WAVERLY PARTNERS, Cleveland, Ohio O: 440.892.5961; C: 440.463.0988; [email protected]