Odell plans May retirement from BBB

Carol Odell, who has been the head of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado for more than two decades, plans to retire May 3. The nonprofit is now accepting applications for the position.

As its CEO and executive director, Odell oversees a staff of 19 with an annual budget of $1.2 million. In the 21 years since she’s headed the BBB, she’s increased business membership by 1,300 and consumer inquires by thousands.

She’s seen the Internet become a tool for consumer protection, and for businesses who want to be accredited by the BBB.

“Really, we’ve become a very trusted third party source for consumers and businesses,” she said. “And that’s what’s so gratifying – knowing we’ve helped so many people.”

When Odell started, consumers were reading about 40,000 business reports a year. Last year, that number was 800,000.

After years of being involved with the BBB and the community, Odell is planning a low-key retirement.

“I’ll stay involved with boards and with the community,” she said. “The people in this community are just awesome, and I’m so proud to have been a part of helping both businesses and consumers. We’re going to travel some, and visit family. I’m looking forward to it.”

A search committee has already been formed to hire Odell’s replacement. The board of directors is looking for a chief executive who will be responsible for the finances and staff of the nonprofit, who serves as the “face of the BBB” and actively participates in the community to “enhance the reputation and effectiveness of the BBB of SC.”

“Ultimately, the mission of the BBB of (Southern Colorado) is to be a positive force for business activity in our community and to promote ethical business practices,” said the job description.

Local candidates are preferred for the position, and a minimum of 10 years of management and leadership experience. Other qualifications: strong, confident public speaking, developing, managing and operating budgets and well-defined people and customer service skills.

The BBB board of directors will accept applications until Feb. 1, with a hire date of April 1. Resumes and a brief report on the definition of the BBB’s mission and a summary of management philosophy can be sent to rgeving@six-geving.com.