Shawnee Chamber of Commerce president/CEO announces retirement
After 22 years of service with the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, president and CEO Linda Leeper recently announced to the board of directors she will be retiring as of Nov. 30.
Leeper spent the last 17 years as the president and CEO of the chamber, as well as five years previously serving on the board of directors. In 1999, she was chairman of the board.
The Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council and Visit Shawnee have grown considerably over the many years of her strong leadership.
Leeper spearheaded the Shawnee Chamber’s efforts for accreditation as a 5-star accredited chamber, placing the Shawnee Chamber in the top one percent of chamber organizations in the nation, the highest level of achievement awarded by the United States Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, the Shawnee Chamber was a finalist for the ACCE’s 2015 Chamber of the Year award.
The Shawnee Chamber has helped oversee considerable growth in Shawnee, and has achieved many successes in economic development, business retention and expansion, advocacy and programing during Leeper’s service.
The chamber board has appointed a search committee to start a national search for a CEO and executive director of economic development to lead the organization. Leeper has long been a valuable asset to the organization, and given her tenure will continue to provide leadership and guidance through the transition period.
“Over the next several months, the Shawnee Chamber will transition to an organizational structure that sharpens our strategic focus on economic development, membership growth and advocacy for our community, “said Brian Brown, newly appointed board chair. “We are looking to move our organization forward as an example of what will be the chamber of the future.”
In a press release, Leeper said it’s been her honor and privilege to serve the chamber as president and CEO for nearly 20 years.
“I have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful individuals, members and leaders on our board of directors and in the community,” she stated. “I certainly owe credit for the organization’s success to the many staff members who, through these past 17 years were a part of the team and helped us grow and celebrate our accomplishments.
In the press release, Leeper said it was a tough call stepping down considering her passion for the organization.
“Throughout my chamber career I have had the pleasure to serve on many boards and been involved with outstanding organizations, and look forward to continuing to be engaged in the community. Personally, I will now have the time to travel more with my husband, Bob, and time with our two grandchildren.”