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Chamber president in NLV resigning

North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Powers is stepping down after nearly a decade of leading the valley’s third-largest chamber.

Powers’ last day on the job will be no later than July 16 and could come sooner, she said Wednesday.

“It was strictly my decision. When I took this job, I thought I would be here about five years to turn the chamber around, and it took longer,” Powers said.

A replacement has not been named.

When Powers took over in December 2000, the chamber had about 400 members. Its membership reached 900 members before the recession but has fallen to about 800 since.

During Powers’ tenure, the chamber also grew into a political force in state and local politics. During the 2009 Nevada Legislature, the North Las Vegas chamber hired a lobbyist for the first time to make sure the organization’s constituents were represented during the heated budget debates.

Powers said she decided to leave because she “wanted to look for another place to leave my mark.”

She is not ruling out pursuing the top spot at the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. That chamber’s president, Kara Kelley, announced that she will step down next year.

Powers said she has not talked with the Las Vegas chamber about its opening.

“I am not ruling anything in, and I am not ruling anything out,” she said. “Everything is fair game at this point.”

Powers worked for the Las Vegas chamber for 10 years starting in 1987, when she served as vice president of administration.

Powers said the development of the Leadership North Las Vegas program two years ago and the transformation of the North Las Vegas chamber into a business organization are her most important accomplishments.

“We changed the perception of the chamber, prior to 2001, as a ‘good ole boys’ social club.’ We enabled the program to thrive,” she said.

Before her arrival at the North Las Vegas Chamber, the organization was focused on service projects, such as participating with the Elks Lodge and the Rotary Club.

Powers said the chamber still serves the community through its charitable organization, but now concentrates chamber efforts on advancing the interests of its member businesses.

Contact reporter Valerie Miller at vmiller@lvbusinesspress.com or 702-387-5286.

 

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