Chamber, EDC to make ‘positive’ announcement next week

The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. will release a “press advisory” tomorrow for a major announcement.

The two groups also plan to hold a press conference Tuesday – time and date to be set later – for a major announcement. Original plans for a Friday press conference were changed because of other media events, said Bill Hodgkins, president of the board of directors of the chamber.

Hodgkins said the two groups planned an announcement of   “good, positive news,” but would not elaborate.

The chamber and the EDC boards have been in discussion for months about merging their operations – a single organization focusing both on local businesses and on attracting new companies. A recent chamber trip to Oklahoma City, which has a joint chamber-EDC was the catalysts for the talks.

Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the EDC resigned earlier this year, and the group had started a national search for a new leader. That search was put on hold while the two groups negotiated a merger.

Both boards unanimously approved a merger two weeks ago, and have been discussing details about what the new organization might look like, Hodgkins said. The chamber sent a proposal to the EDC last week, and discussed the EDC’s offer at a chamber board meeting this morning.

Hodgkins wouldn’t comment on the details of either proposal, only saying the boards were in negotiations, and “very close to an agreement.”