Chamber Selects New President And CEO

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce named Gary Plummer as CEO and president of the organization. Plummer was selected after a national search by the Chamber.

“The Chamber’s Search Committee was impressed with Gary’s results and his approach to building relationships throughout the community,” said Lynn Nichols, Chamber Chairman.

“His focus and efforts on economic growth and workforce development, while growing membership, are clearly aligned with the Chamber’s priorities and our community’s needs.”

Plummer has served as president and CEO of the Greater Springfield, Ill. Chamber of Commerce since 2005. During his tenure, the Chamber had membership growth of 20 percent to about 1600 members. He also led the Chamber in the development of and secured funding for a five-year, $5.2 million economic development initiative, Quantum Growth Partnership. He created new Chamber affiliates, including a foundation, workforce development initiative, a young professionals’ network and a business-education partnership.

Also in Springfield, Plummer helped develop a joint venture focused on a learning continuum with the United Way, community foundation and K-16 leaders. He also created the Diversity Development Council partnering with the Black Chamber and Urban League to address barriers to economic development.

“The national reputation and caliber of the Wichita Metro Chamber are what initially attracted me to look into the opening,” Plummer said.

“Once I met the members of the search committee and the staff and saw the community, I was even more impressed with the position.”

Plummer also served as president and CEO of the Modesto, Calif. Chamber of Commerce where he increased Chamber membership and formed coalitions with other area chambers. In addition, he served as president of the chambers of commerce in Waterloo, Iowa and Jefferson City, Mo.

Plummer has more than 30 years of chamber and economic development experience.

Plummer will spend his first three days on the Visioneering Wichita City-to-City trip to Pittsburg on September 14 through 16. He will be in the Chamber office the following week.

“We are so pleased to welcome Gary to the community and look forward to working with him on behalf of the community,” Nichols said. “He will be a great addition to the team that includes a strong staff.”

Plummer has a bachelor’s of arts degree in political science and journalism from Northwest Missouri State University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management.

Plummer will be joined by his wife, Dana, and their two sons. He also has two adult children.

“We are excited about the move and about getting to know the community,” Plummer said. “Wichita is well positioned to take advantage of numerous opportunities including downtown revitalization and talent retention and attraction.”

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