Chamber/EDC merger: Committee makes recommendations

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An EDC-Chamber unification committee is on track to make final recommendations about the future organization by the end of the month.

A “rough draft” of recommendations was sent to the boards of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp. earlier this week and the unification committee expected to hear comment by week’s end, said U.S. Bank President Tom Naughton, who is heading up the unification committee.

“The unification committee will incorporate comments in the completed document that will go back to both boards,” he said.

In August, the boards of directors from the EDC and Chamber voted to merge. Right now the groups have very different funding. The chamber is funded largely by members and events, while the EDC receives most of its money from businesses seeking to expand the region’s economic development outreach. The boards decided a merger would be beneficial to both organizations

The unification committee is charged with developing a plan that will include details such as financing, location, structure and governance. It will not include staffing, Naughton said.

“That is not the call of the unification committee,” he said. “We are standing up the initial board of directors. That board and new CEO will lead the direction of the organization.”

The committee will select the initial board of directors to govern the new organization subject to ratification by the two existing boards, and establish a CEO Search Committee whose job it will be to conduct a national search for the chief executive officer of the united organization.