(Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 11--HARLINGEN -- The Chamber of Commerce will begin a search to replace President and CEO Pam Priour, who resigned effective Monday.
Chamber Board Chairwoman Linda Burke said the 12-member board of directors voted unanimously on Friday to accept Priour's resignation, and made the official announcement on Monday.
No reason was given for Priour's departure from the position she has held since August 2012, but Burke said it was "not a rash decision."
In a statement issued by the chamber, Sarah Trollinger, the current manager of governmental affairs, was named interim executive leader.
"Sarah is a known and respected leader in our business community and I know she will lead our chamber well during this transition period," Burke said in the press release.
Priour on Monday told the Valley Morning Star she could not comment on the reasons for her resignation, nor could she discuss her future plans.
"We want to thank Pam for her time with us and wish her all the best in the future," Burke said.
Burke praised the chamber staff, many of whom were hired by Priour.
"This is the strongest staff we've ever had," she said. "(Priour did) an outstanding job of forming a great staff."
The search will begin with advertisements in the National Chamber of Commerce publications, Burke said.
The board hopes to fill the position in three to six months. A three-member committee will be formed to find a new president and CEO.
There were 70 applicants for the position when Priour was hired, Burke said. Those applicants are welcome to reapply, but the chamber will not automatically reconsider them.
"We'll start from scratch," Burke said.
She also said the chamber will consider candidates from the existing chamber staff.
"I'm big about promoting from within, but I want to be fair," she said.
The selection process will include bringing finalists to the Rio Grande Valley for face-to-face interviews once the search committee narrows the field of candidates.
Burke said she could not comment on personnel issues, but did say Priour signed a "resignation agreement."
Priour, a native of Corpus Christi, came to Harlingen from Beeville. She also has performed consulting work for various chambers of commerce and business associations in Texas.
She replaced Crisanne Zamponi, who resigned in 2012 after 17 years with the Harlingen chamber, five of those years as its director.
The Harlingen Chamber has 1,054 members.
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