North Las Vegas Chamber President Powers to step down

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. The outgoing North Las Vegas chamber president called the decision her own choice.

“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 for Powers has yet to be named.

When Powers took office in December 2000, the chamber had about 400 members. Its membership more than doubled to 900 members prior to the recession, although its membership has dropped to about 800 since last year.

During Power’s tenure, the chamber also grew into a political force in both 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 earlier this year that she will step down next year.

“I am not ruling anything in, and I am not ruling anything out. Everything is fair game at this point,” Powers said, adding that she has not held any discussions with the Las Vegas chamber about its opening.

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

Of her accomplishments, 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, as the most important.

“We changed the perception of the (North Las Vegas) chamber, prior to 2001, as a ‘Good ole boys’ social club.’ We enabled the program to thrive,” she maintained.

Prior to 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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