Chamber of Commerce president steps down

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Greene County Chamber of Commerce President/Executive Director Jeff Friedman

CATSKILL — Jeff Friedman, the longtime president and executive director of the Greene County Chamber of Commerce, is resigning from the organization at the end of September.

Friedman, who has been a steadfast advocate for Greene County businesses and for economic development, started with the chamber in February 2013 and has headed up the group for nearly a decade.

“I told the board I would stay until the end of September,” Friedman said Thursday. “They are working on a plan to search for a replacement and they are also making plans for how the chamber will operate in the interim between my departure and the new person.”

Friedman will join his family’s business, which is headquartered in Clifton Park, but he will continue living in Catskill.

“My brother has a contracting company, a floor-care company, and it’s been growing steadily for quite a while,” Friedman said. “He asked me to come in and partner with him in the company and manage the business end.”

For Friedman, the move is a return to what he did before he joined the chamber.

“It takes me back to my roots, which was general contracting and commercial real estate development, which was what I did before the chamber,” he said. “It’s a new challenge. I just decided the time was right. I spent a lot of time at the chamber and I love the job. I love the chamber and I love Greene County. I love what I do, but this was an offer and a challenge that I felt I needed to take.”

The Greene County Chamber of Commerce thanked Friedman for his service and announced the search for a replacement has begun.

“The board of directors and I are grateful for all the time and energy Jeff has committed to the chamber over the last nine-and-a-half years and the impact he has had on the chamber and its member businesses,” Greene County Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Nicole Bliss said. “We are happy for him as he takes on a new challenge and wish him well. The board has established a Search Committee that will be tasked with finding Jeff’s replacement. If you happen to know of anyone who may be interested in such an opening, please feel free to direct them to me for consideration.”

The organization posted a job listing for a new president/executive director on its website Wednesday.

“The President/Executive Director serves as the visible leader of the Chamber, as communicator, facilitator and interactive community planner; responsible for the development, implementation and assessment of Chamber programs, projects and events to ensure each member business’s investment in the Chamber meets their needs,” according to the job listing.

The job requires education and/or experience in business or marketing, strategic planning, budgets, finance, supervisory skills, and an understanding of the issues for area businesses, residents and elected officials.

A salary range for the position is not listed.

Friedman said he has appreciated working with the chamber for nearly a decade and has seen significant growth in the organization’s role in the community during that time.

“The chamber has seen substantial growth and taken a greater leadership role in helping businesses, our local economy and our communities thrive,” Friedman said. “I have had the honor to work with an exceptional group of business owners, executives and community leaders without whose extraordinary efforts and dedication Greene County’s growth and success would not have been possible. I am confident that the chamber is in a strong position to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our member businesses and our county, and I wish it nothing but the greatest success under a new leader.”

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