• Posting


  • POSITION:    Executive Director


    SUPERVISOR:  Board of Directors


    POSITION SUMMARY:  The Executive Director, under authority granted by the Board of Directors, is the chief executive of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce. As such, the position is responsible for providing leadership, marketing, growth, planning, organizing, and directing all operations including program objectives, finances, staff and quality of member services.


    LOCATION:  Ottawa, Illinois. Ottawa has a rich history, diverse economic base, and proximity to outdoor amenities that together enhance its continued cultural growth and emerging status as a tourist destination. 


    AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY:  The Board of Directors is seeking a dynamic leader for its well-established Chamber of Commerce organization of over three hundred members. The candidate should expect to actively recognize new opportunities, continually improve existing activities, energetically organize and execute new projects, and bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the position, all in service to membership, local businesses, and the community at large.



    Marketing & Growth:

    • Maintain a high profile in the business community.
    • Target all non-member businesses for recruitment.
    • Work with Member Services Committee and staff in the creation of innovative marketing and growth programs to expand membership


    Program Development and Accomplishment:

    • Work with Board of Directors and members to develop an annual Strategic Plan and project list reflecting the organization’s purpose and membership needs for each fiscal year.
    • Establish, maintain, and evaluate long-range objectives and strategies for meeting said objectives.
    • Develop and coordinate the necessary leadership and volunteers to accomplish the Strategic Plan.



    • Evaluate and advise the Board of Directors as to financial needs for each fiscal year and beyond.
    • Prepare an annual budget in conjunction with the Board’s Executive Committee, for submission to the full Board of Directors for approval.  
    • Manage the Chamber staff and its efforts within the approved budget and other applicable guidelines.
    • Develop applicable plans for meeting the budget.
    • Provide monthly information and data to the Board regarding expenses and revenues relative to the budget.



    • Establish and maintain a staff consistent with program needs and financial guidelines. Responsibilities include recruiting, hiring and dismissal, as well as maintaining accountability among the staff relative to their assignments and applicable policy.
    • Establish basic work functions and standards of performance for each member of the staff.
    • Evaluate staff performance on an annual basis to assure satisfactory accomplishment of Chamber’s objectives.
    • Maintain a working climate that attracts, maintains, and motivates high quality staff.


    Relationship with Board of Directors:

    • Attend and provide participative consultation at all Board and Board committee meetings.
    • Prepare agendas for Board meetings, with the assistance of the Board Chair.
    • Provide the Board with adequate information to help it reach sound decisions and establish policies.
    • Initiate and recommend polices to the Board as required for the efficient, effective operation of the organization.
    • Report regularly to the Board concerning progress toward organizational objectives, financial status and other issues of concern to the organization.
    • Provide or facilitate orientation and training for Board members.



    • Assist committee chairs in the orderly arrangement of meetings, including preparation of agendas and the dissemination of materials.
    • Maintain contact with all committees and be aware of the current status of all Chamber projects in relation to the original objective, the current position, and the work yet to be done.



    • Stay apprised of governmental initiatives affecting Chamber members and initiatives.
    • Recommend, when necessary or appropriate, changes in policy.


    Member and Public Relations:

    • Maintain close contact with city, state and federal officials on those matters associated with organization, community and economic development.
    • Direct, prepare and disseminate all communications to the membership and the general public.
    • Represent the Chamber at various meetings, functions and events, acting as a key representative of the business community.
    • Maintain close liaisons with community, civic, trade associations, and service organizations that may affect or enrich member interests.
    • Make public addresses or secure other appropriate speakers concerning the Chamber and community activities and issues.
    • Promote good public relations in the community and among the membership.


    Government Relations:

    • Serve as a key economic development resource for member organizations and prospective businesses in the community, coordinating as necessary with appropriate city staff and other civic organizations.
    • Partner with the City of Ottawa’s Economic Development department and regional Economic Development Corporation, as directed, to bring businesses into the community.


    Membership Maintenance:

    • Oversee the direction of all membership efforts and develop retention plan.
    • Coordinate new member development and oversee the orientation program.
    • Direct proper membership record keeping procedures.
    • Recommend necessary changes in the membership dues investment schedule.
    • Develop and maintain relations with major employers/members.
    • Develop new member benefits.


    General Administrative:

    • Conduct the official correspondence of the Chamber and maintain records of the same.
    • Preserve all legal and historical documents relating to the Chamber’s activities, programs, property and positions.
    • Meet all necessary legal and financial reporting requirements.
    • Approve and sign checks on all Board approved budget expenditures.
    • Direct office maintenance including replacement of equipment and purchase of additional equipment.
    • Manage the property lease and any applicable administration.
    • Be generally familiar with the community and its activities and develop knowledge of all other organizations in the community, their programs and their leadership.
    • Keep alert for community concerns and opportunities and bring them to the attention of the appropriate agency, group or individual.
    • Serve as chief editor of all organizational publications.
    • Maintain current policy and procedure manual(s).
    • Perform other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.



    • Previous association management experience in a closely related field preferred.
    • College degree from an accredited institution, or comparable educational and work experience.
    • Current or planned residence in or near Ottawa is strongly preferred.
    • Demonstrated ability to develop mutually productive working relations with other organizations, consumers, public officials, and funding sources.
    • Demonstrated record of success in a leadership capacity, including ability to organize and plan effectively.
    • Physical capability of carrying out the duties of the position, and an automobile available for business use.



    • Boyd Palmer, current Executive Director is retiring December 31, 2019.
    • Candidates should email application packet, including cover letter stating qualifications and interest in position; resume; and list of three professional references by November 1, 2019.
    • Ottawachamber61350@gmail.com
    • Attn: Angie Stevenson, Board Chair