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The Forum welcomes new Chamber leader

Thank you to our friends at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead for a positive assessment of the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead and a genuine welcome to our new leader.

Published December 31 2009 by The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

Forum editorial: Welcome Chamber president

A new chapter for the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead will soon unfold when Craig Whitney starts as its new president and CEO.

Whitney, who brings a wealth of public and private-sector experience, inherits one of the best Chamber of Commerce organizations in the country, thanks to the impassioned leadership of former president and CEO David Martin and his staff.

Already Whitney has pledged to lead the 1,900-member chamber to new levels once he begins work in February.

His goal, Whitney says, is to make the organization “a force to reckon with.”

Surely, Fargo-Moorhead welcomes his spirit and determination.

Leading this particular chamber is no small feat, given its rarely seen two-city, two-county, two-state membership makeup following the long overdue 1998 merger of the independently run Fargo Chamber and Moorhead Area Chamber.

With that consolidation has come expanded executive-level responsibility to advance business, public affairs and legislative concerns on both sides of the Red River and nationally as well.

For instance, the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead has repeatedly played a prominent role in convincing the federal government to retain Fargo’s National Guard base and provide support for local flood control initiatives.

It has helped champion the Red River Valley’s transition to become a recognized research corridor.

It has lobbied legislative bodies in Minnesota and North Dakota to support initiatives that positively impact metropolitan Fargo-Moorhead.

New Chamber programs, especially the networking of young and tenured entrepreneurs, business associates and social service representatives, have significantly improved the organization’s viability.

Martin, an energetic community cheerleader, set in place a sturdy foundation for Whitney to build upon.

The new president and CEO will likely bring a different voice and leadership style to the position, given his political, public policy and business backgrounds.

Whitney previously served as an assistant to former Vice President Dan Quayle, was public affairs vice president for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, chief of staff for a prominent investment firm and vice president of external affairs for a nonprofit public policy research organization.

The Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead was looking for a collaborative leader with a positive attitude who would play a more prominent role in influencing public policy, said Karen Lauer, Chamber board chairwoman.

It appears the organization has found that in Craig Whitney.

We welcome Whitney to Fargo-Moorhead and wish him great success.

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