Holland Chamber Hires President

June 10, 2004
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HOLLAND — Jane Clark has dropped the “interim” part of her title and assumed the presidency of the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce with an eye toward strengthening service to members.

Chamber directors last week named Clark as president. Clark, who’s been with the chamber for 14 years, previously served eight months as interim president following the departure in October of Chris Byrnes.

“It’s a great opportunity. I learned a lot in the last eight months and look forward to the years ahead,” Clark said.

Clark, 41, served as the Holland Area Chamber’s vice president for two years prior to her appointment as interim president last fall. She started with the chamber in 1990 as membership director.

Lynn Kobes, chairwoman of the chamber’s executive committee, credited Clark with providing “great stability” during a period of transition, particularly the formation of the new economic development agency Lakeshore Advantage, where Clark serves on the board of directors.

“She is highly regarded. I think every chamber member is pleased to have someone with Jane’s ability at the helm,” Kobes said.

Lakeshore Advantage now serves as the prime economic development agency in the Holland area, handling employer retention and recruitment. The Holland Area Chamber handles other areas of business support, most notably work force development.

Clark said she hopes to build on the chamber’s role in supporting business and providing services to members.

“We’re going to continue to build on the fundamentals we do well,” she said. “Holland is a great place and this is a great opportunity to continue on that tradition.”

At a recent board retreat, chamber directors identified four areas to focus on for the coming year: helping firms compete in the global environment; regional cooperation; work force development, such as enhancing the Lakeshore Link business-education program; and diversifying its membership.           

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