He will take his place in a long history of business leaders with the chamber.
July 7, 2010
By Kevin Dayhoff
The president of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, Richard Haddad, 68, has announced that he will be stepping down from his post.
Haddad, who has held the reins of the chamber since he was hired on February 27, 2006, is looking forward to transitioning into retirement after a long career in management, according to a release from the local business umbrella organization early Wednesday morning.
“Haddad, and his wife, Valorie, are in the process of selling their home and moving to something smaller now that their five children are grown,” observed the announcement.
The Haddad’s “plan to remain in Carroll County. The ‘downsizing’ is a step toward retirement for Haddad, but he expects that he will continue working in some capacity, possibly on a contract basis, for some 12 to 18 months after leaving the chamber.”
In his retirement announcement Haddad noted, “I can honestly say, that in my entire career I’ve never enjoyed a job as much as I’ve enjoyed being chamber president. The chamber is a great organization with a great staff, it operates in a great community, and I’m proud to have been a part of its history.”
The local chamber has had a long and storied history in its role in promoting local businesses.
The roots of the present-day chamber date back to the first meeting of the “Westminster Chamber of Commerce” on Wednesday, July 23, 1924. The Westminster Chamber of Commerce became the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 1, 1973.
An old newspaper clipping on July 25, 1924 documents that T. W. Mather Jr., Charles W. Klee and C. Edgar Nusbaum called a meeting of "75 citizens" at the Westminster Fire Hall on Wednesday afternoon, July 23, 1924: “to consider and hear the views of the business men as to the advisability of forming a Chamber of Commerce for this city.”
According to a history of the chamber written by Diana Scott, the chamber did, at one time, maintain an office in Westminster City Hall.
The original Westminster chamber was formed 26 years after another business organization in Westminster, called the "Retailers' Association of Westminster, Maryland," formed on April 6, 1898 "for the purpose of the development and growth of the city and for mutual protection" against the railroad. Of note, though, is the fact that members of the "Merchants and Manufacturers Association" were invited. Apparently this association pre-dated the Retailers' Association.
It was four years ago that Haddad joined the ranks of the distinguished men and women who have promoted the business interests of Carroll County. In 1924, the officers included a who’s who of local business owners and business leaders.
Officers elected in 1924 were: C. Edgar Nusbaum, president; Miller Richardson, vice president; and executive committee members Joseph Mathias, Carroll Albaugh, D. S. Gehr, W. H. Davis, William N. Keefer, Joseph E. Hunter and T. W. Mather Jr.
Today the chamber represents over 650 businesses and organizations to serve as a catalyst to foster the business environment of Carroll County.
Haddad, who is originally from Brooklyn, New York, first came to Maryland in 1971. He worked in the 1960s as the Equal Employment Opportunity program director for CitiBank in New York.
In Maryland, he first lived in Howard County before moving to Carroll County about 14-years ago. Once he arrived in Carroll County, he became a member of the local chamber and served as a volunteer in a number of capacities including its business and education committee, and a brief tenure on the board of directors.
In 2006, the “combination of his executive management experience and his volunteer work for several Maryland chambers including the Carroll County chamber was attractive to the board,” noted the release.
Haddad, whose particular field of management expertise is human resources, “counts as among his major accomplishments at the Chamber, the establishment of the chamber’s human resources committee, which provides HR programming and services to the small business community.
“The Carroll County Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management, which grew out of the chamber’s HR committee and collaborates with it, focuses on the professional development of HR practitioners and managers in the county.
Haddad also cites “an upgrading of the chamber website to offer features such as online event registration and payment, and a strengthening of the Leadership Carroll program as among his major contributions during his tenure as president.
“The chamber partners with Carroll Community College in offering the Leadership Carroll program. The program now has over 300 alumni.”
“We’re going to miss Rich,” said Nancy Lynch, owner of My Personal Chef and chair of the chamber’s board of directors, in the retirement announcement.
“We were prepared for this announcement and we certainly wish him the best of luck,” said Lynch who added that a search for a new President would begin shortly.
Haddad will not be leaving the chamber for two to three months, and is expected to work with the board in the search for his successor. “I want to do whatever I can,” he said, “to ensure a smooth transition.”
Since the chamber’s board of directors have been aware of Haddad’s plans to step down for some time, preparations are underway to find a new president.
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack: http://kevindayhoff.blogspot.com/ = http://www.kevindayhoff.net/ Kevin Dayhoff Art: http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/ or http://kevindayhoffart.com/ = http://www.kevindayhoff.com/ Kevin Dayhoff Westminster: http://kevindayhoffwestgov-net.blogspot.com/ or http://www.westgov.net/ = www.kevindayhoff.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/kevindayhoff Twitpic: http://twitpic.com/photos/kevindayhoff Kevin Dayhoff's The New Bedford Herald: http://kbetrue.livejournal.com/ = www.newbedfordherald.net Explore Carroll: www.explorecarroll.com The Tentacle: www.thetentacle.com