The search for a new CEO for the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce has been extended to Oct. 11 to give the business group time to sort through applications from across the continent.
The Chamber is seeking a replacement for ex-CEO Susan Allen, who left the organization in August to take a management job at Vancouver Island University. Chamber director Kim Smythe has acted as interim CEO.
Chamber board chairman Odai Sirri said the organization has received "strong feedback" for the job opening, but said his team needs time to review the field of candidates and press on with upcoming programs and events.
"We had applicants in California, New Jersey, Vermont, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Vancouver, so it's been a pretty solid response," he said. "Of course, lots in the local market too."
October and November are considered the busiest months for the Chamber. The organization is planning for its upcoming Business Expo event and Christmas functions. Sirri said Smythe's interim role will help smooth the transition for the new CEO, who will helm one of the largest Chamber groups in the province.
"It's a lot easier to be starting out when you're not having to hit the ground running with major events that people have high expectations of," he said.
"So when the new person gets hired, they'll be coming at a time when they'll be able to focus on getting to know the membership, letting the membership get to know them, and then planning for the months and the years ahead."
Sirri said the board of directors has not yet discussed if Smythe will be asked to stay on for a transition period once a new executive is chosen.
"If we're going to poach someone from another chamber, then it's different," he said. "(It's) going to be a different transition mode then if we're poaching someone that worked for Terasen Gas.
"So there's a big difference there, and that's why it's hard to really plan for what it is going to look like in a month's time."
The GNCC recently took the City of Nanaimo to task for replacing former city manager Al Kenning without launching a formal job search.
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