Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chamber, Go Topeka to Share New CEO

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chamber, Go Topeka to Share New CEO

Article excerpt

Go Topeka and the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce will continue to share a CEO when a new one is hired, but he or she will have less of a role in day-to-day economic development work.

Doug Kinsinger, who was CEO of both organizations, submitted his resignation in April. Brent Boles, chairman of the chamber board, said both organizations' boards worked with a consultant to determine the right direction for an executive search.

The new CEO would have an oversight role in Go Topeka, but Scott Smathers, vice president of economic development for Go Topeka, would lead its day-to-day operations, Boles said.

"Doug (Kinsinger) was involved, spending at least 50 percent of his time on economic development," he said. "Scott Smathers has the skills and expertise to lead that."

Scott Griffith, chairman of the Go Topeka board, said members of both boards wanted to keep the financial benefits of sharing some services, but thought they would benefit if the line between Go Topeka and the chamber was more clear. A different person acting as leader of Go Topeka would make that distinction more clear, he said.

"We want Go Topeka to stand on its own more, to be more autonomous," he said.

Griffith said community perceptions played a role in the direction the boards took.

"We think there's an opportunity to improve our perception in the community by improving knowledge of what we have done and what we do," he said.

Boles said a committee from both organizations' boards worked with a consultant and considered "all options" for its executive. The committee still is working on an agreement to cover how the new CEO would relate to Go Topeka and how much of his or her salary would come from each of the two organizations.

"We still think it makes economic sense for both organizations to share resources," he said, citing savings from sharing office space and accounting services. "It was clear our structure made sense."

The boards are still developing a job description and plan to advertise the position this month, Boles said. The goal is to extend an offer in October to whomever the leading candidate may be, he said. …

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