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FM Chamber Names New Leader

The Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead is pleased to announce Craig D. Whitney as its new President/CEO. Following a comprehensive search process that attracted applicants from around the country, Whitney emerged as the ideal leader for the Chamber, and will begin his responsibilities in February 2010.

With a career spanning more than 25 years, the 49-year-old Whitney has handled complex and high-profile assignments for leaders in politics and business in both the public and private sectors. “Craig brings to the Chamber a contagious energy and a wealth of experience – including extensive fundraising, collaboration and team development initiatives – that will help us realize our vision of being the premier business organization in our region,” said Karen Lauer, of the Barnesville (Minn.) Economic Development Authority and current Chair of the Board. “His extensive work in the public and private sectors for non-profit and for-profit enterprises will also further our mission of unifying and advancing business and community interests in our region.”

“I am excited to begin this new chapter in my career. While Fargo Moorhead is feeling some of the effects of the nation’s recession, the area is blessed with a strong economy and communities that work hard,” said Whitney. “Public policy is a cornerstone for the Chamber and I intend to strengthen our existing policy initiatives and provide increasing value to our members.”
Beginning in January 1989, Whitney spent four years at The White House in the Office of Vice President Dan Quayle, rising from assistant press secretary to assistant to the vice president and director of advance, where he was the senior staff member responsible for all facets of Vice Presidential travel. After his time at The White House, Whitney’s career continued to focus on public policy as he worked for the Atlanta Olympic Committee as director of guest services and special events; served as political director for Lugar for President; vice president, external affairs for the Hudson Institute, a non-profit public policy research organization; and senior political advisor and spokesman for Vice President Quayle’s Campaign America.

In February 2000, Whitney assumed the role of vice president of public affairs for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, leading the chamber’s lobbying efforts from city hall to Washington, D.C. His most recent position has been chief of staff to the chairman at investment firm Cerberus Capital Management. Whitney managed corporate social responsibility programming, government relations and communication initiatives for Cerberus.

“The Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead is committed to leveraging the public policy strength of our organization and advocating for our members on issues at the local, regional and national level,” said Jeff Thomas, of Starion Financial and Chair-elect of the Board. “As a Board, we are excited about Craig’s vision and commitment to establish the Chamber as this area’s preeminent public policy voice.”

Whitney, born and raised in western Iowa, and his wife of 26 years, Lori, are parents to Matthew, 23, and Meredith, 19.

About the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead
The Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead is a regional federation of 1,800 private, public and non-profit member firms that collectively employ more than 77,000 people. We have members in twenty Minnesota communities, twenty North Dakota communities, South Dakota, Manitoba and beyond. Our mission is unifying and advancing business and community interests in our region.

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