CEO says farewell to chamber
After almost 14 years, Deborah Obermeyer is stepping down as the Metro North Chamber of Commerce CEO and moving on to other professional opportunities. Her decision will be made effective May 31.
“I have been blessed throughout my career with roles in which I have been constantly challenged to learn and grow,” she said. “I believe my versatility coupled with my leadership experience will allow me to jump into a new field and make a difference.”
From the moment she interviewed for the CEO position years ago, Obermeyer felt an instant draw to the chamber. She said it was the logical next step in her career, and within weeks she knew undoubtedly that she made the right choice.
During her time as CEO, Obermeyer helped increase the membership to 970 members, compared to just 300 when she started, elevating the chamber as the seventh largest in the state. She was also part of providing a voice for the community through public policy, promoting smarter business through the development council and encouraging personal and professional growth through the leadership program. The creation of two events — the Taste of the Chamber and the Chamber 5 Challenge — have also provided more opportunities for the community and chamber members.
“I am very proud of the board’s commitment to ensure that the MNCC has a facility that serves as a resource for all our members,” she said. “The MNCC office is state-of-the-art and is in constant use by our members. The board is also committed to keeping the chamber dues affordable for all businesses while increasing services and programs.”
Chamber executive board director Troy Whitmore is sad to see Obermeyer go, and credits her for truly rebuilding the chamber. He said he doesn’t think the chamber would have survived without her leadership.
“One of her greatest attributes was bridging the gap between the chamber and local governments,” he said. “That is not always the case for chambers, and those relationships really made for a stronger chamber. She will be greatly missed.”
For Obermeyer, the best part of being the chamber CEO was the opportunity to interact with a multitude of people and supporting people both professionally and personally. She said to keep a chamber successful, everything boils down to the involvement of people who are committed to making a difference.
“Our chamber partners are a group of highly successful leaders who are committed to the metro north region,” she said. “They invest capital, create jobs and enhance the lifestyle of the communities within this region with quality services and products. The MNCC has been a community staple for 55 years, and that kind of longevity means something.”
Matt Barnes, who serves on the chamber’s leadership board, said during Obermeyer’s tenure she led the chamber to new heights through her professionalism, innovation and dedication and through her leadership she has set the foundation for the chamber to thrive and continue to be successful for years to come.
“Deborah had the special ability to bring the business community together, promote regional community networks and develop both business and community partnerships,” he said.
Obermeyer plans to take some time before jumping into her next professional endeavor. She plans on staying active on a few community boards including A Precious Child. For the next Metro North Chamber CEO, Obermeyer’s best advice is to “keep the chamber’s mission at the forefront of decision making and maintain constant communication with members on programs, services and events.”
After Obermeyer’s departure, Shiley Johnson, who is currently responsible for public policy in the chamber, will serve in the interim CEO role.