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February 7, 2011

Chamber CEO Named President of Charleston, South Carolina Chamber

Heather Bohrer

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce announced today that Bryan Derreberry, President and CEO, has been named President and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce in Charleston, South Carolina.

Derreberry was one of six finalists and the Charleston Metro Chamber’s Board of Directors approved the Search Committee’s selection this week. Derreberry was contacted about the position by a national search firm retained by the Charleston Chamber to conduct their candidate search. “I was not looking for this position, however, when I was contacted, I became interested in investigating further,” said Derreberry.

“The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce opportunity was very attractive to my family and me as each of our parents live within four to six hours of Charleston. It will be a wonderful privilege to be able to spend time with them and be there when they need us. Additionally, Charleston’s natural aesthetic beauty, incredible downtown, strong South Carolina business setting, diverse business clusters, and national brand identification make for a winning economic and community development environment.”

Derreberry continued, “Gail, our children, and I have thoroughly enjoyed our seven years in Wichita. The engaging attitude of the people here has allowed us to develop wonderful professional and personal friendships. The people here are phenomenal and we will carry wonderful memories of our time here with us in the years ahead.”

“It has been a privilege to work with an incredible group of volunteer business leaders, elected officials and professional staff in strengthening and redefining the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce thereby increasing the prosperity prospects of our metro area. Collectively, we have set and achieved new performance levels in community development with Visioneering Wichita; economic development with our Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC); young professional assimilation with Young Professionals of Wichita; small business programming with our business services team; and lobbying success with our government relations effort. Our commitment to generating economic prosperity for the metro area has been realized in each of these delivery platforms,” stated Derreberry.

“Bryan has been an effective leader of the Wichita Metro Chamber for the past seven years,” said 2011 Board Chair Lynn Nichols. “We are sad to lose him, but understand the importance of being close to family and new opportunities. We know Bryan’s high credibility, expertise in business and chamber management, and ability to lead an organization made him a perfect candidate for Charleston.”

Nichols also announced Suzie Ahlstrand will serve as the interim president and CEO of the Chamber. Nichols indicated that a search committee of board members will be formed to find the next chamber president and CEO. The national search will be complete this year. Nichols and the chamber executive committee will also provide input to the national search process. Derreberry will remain CEO and President of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce through the beginning of March.

Nichols stated, “The Chamber’s mission of economic prosperity is important for our community, and the value we deliver to our members through our business services, the success we’ve had in our advocacy and economic development efforts as well as Visioneering Wichita and Young Professionals of Wichita will continue. The Chamber is comprised of an outstanding professional staff, and the board and I look forward to working together to keep our momentum and focus during this transition.”

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