Greater Lawrence Chamber President Trace Yates gave a simple explanation for his decision to resign his position, effective Dec. 31.
“It’s pretty unmysterious and unexciting,” he said. “I simply decided to retire from full-time work, and this position requires someone here full time. It’s just a good time for me to step aside and open the door for the next leader to be identified and to move the chamber forward toward the future.”
During 2 1/2 years he’s served as chamber president, he said he’s most proud of the fact the chamber hosted the City of Lawrence mayoral town hall before the November election.
“That, interestingly enough, was a long-time goal of the chamber, and I’m thrilled we decided to make 2019 the year we wanted to accomplish that,” Yates said. “That’s certainly a recent event we are very proud of. Though in 2019, the chamber also spent a little money and invested time and effort into marketing and branding and messaging in an effort to grow the chamber footprint and to grow our membership.
“Lots of things are queued up for the future.”
Yates said he has no specific post-retirement plans.
“I think we all feel similarly that the chamber is in a solid position to move toward the future,” he said. “We have a robust calendar of events for 2020. We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline, and it’s been an honor and a thrill to have been part of this program. I’m proud of the work we have accomplished.”
Cassandra Faurote, the 2020 chamber board chair, said the organization plans to fill Yates’ position by the end of February.
Faurote said the chamber recently outlined its strategic planning for the next three years.
“I would say our guiding principles are to be a catalyst of business growth, to be the convening of leaders and influencers and to be the champion for a stronger community,” Faurote said. “We’re building programs around those (principles).”
For more, visit greaterlawrencechamber.org.