Here’s a preview of a breaking story that will appear in the next edition of The Business Times. The full story will be available on April 7 when the print edition hits the news stands, and online later that day.
Efforts are under way to hire executive directoras at both the Fruita and Palisade chambers of commerce following changes in leadership at the two business organizations.
In Fruita, the president of the chamber board of directors says executive director Mary Lou Wilson resigned in February after the board discussed a no-drinking policy for chamber staff and volunteers working at chamber social events. But Wilson denies the policy was connected with her resignation.
In Palisade, Bayley Rodgers resigned as executive director after the chamber board raised issues with Rodgers working for a nonprofit organization on the side.
Joel Kincaid, president of the Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, says Wilson was not forced out of her position. “We did not force the resignation. We did not ask for it.”
But Kincaid says there was tension —and some policy changes Wilson wouldn’t accept. Chamber members complained about staff and volunteers drinking alcoholic beverages during social events sponsored by the chamber, he says. The board decided to implement a ban on staff and volunteer consumption of alcohol while they’re working at chamber events.
Wilson says her resignation was unrelated to the policy. “That was put into effect last September, right before the Fall Festival,” she says. “There were issues with some volunteers and we adopted the policy. The reason I left had nothing to do with that. It has to do with the change in attitude and culture and philosophy of the new board members and accusations about some things that were unwarranted.”