BY AHMED HAQUE
Chairman of the Board
CARLSBAD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
My relationship with Ted and the Chamber began as a prospective board member in late 2011. While I assumed the purpose of my first meeting with Ted was for him to size up my qualifications, he instead began sharing his assessment of the political climate in Carlsbad and suggested how I might best build consensus. This was the first of dozens of such meetings over the years in which I had the unique privilege to be mentored by Ted.
Ted was by my side at numerous hearings for the new power plant when few were willing to support it. He’s been there to cheer on my successes and offer words of encouragement. Without Ted’s confidence in me I could not have aspired to lead this board.
After Ted’s nearly 15 years at the helm of the Chamber and his legacy of accomplishments, the question is, where do we go from here? The Chamber’s Board of Directors has begun the effort to identify Ted’s successor by appointing a search committee. This diverse group includes representatives from Chamber members, large and small, for-profit and non-profit. The committee will screen applications, interview candidates and ultimately make a recommendation to the board.
While we expect that many exceptional candidates will soon express interest in the position, we will not rush this process. This is a coveted role because of our members, our staff, our relationships with local government and our standing in the community.
That is not to say the next CEO will not face great challenges. We’ve seen political upheaval and the value of certain industries is being questioned. The Chamber’s voice on the issues competes with thousands of others on social media. A younger and more diverse business community will drive changes in the type of services that chambers offer. The board took time to reflect on these challenges and our core strengths in order to describe the type of leader most appropriate for these times.
For many board members this will be the most profound decision we will make on behalf of the Chamber. We will select an individual who will be trusted to lead the Chamber into its second century of service. You can be assured that the board is up to the task and I look forward to updating you on our progress later this year.
To learn more about the search for our next President/CEO or to submit an application, visit www.carlsbad.org/ceo