ES chamber president announces resignation

Friday, July 27, 2018
Miller

Paul Miller has resigned from his position as chief operating officer of the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Interim director Damon Henke confirmed Tuesday that Miller agreed to resign after the chamber’s board of directors met Monday, July 16. The reason Miller resigned, Henke said, is so the chamber can work on restructuring itself.

“He has been and continues to work with us to make sure the structure is sound in the future,” Henke said.

Miller’s position has not been eliminated, Henke said, and the chamber will be seeking another person to fill the position at some point. That person will likely be called the director of the chamber, Henke said.

“The future of the chamber will include the position. We typically call it a director,” Henke said, saying former CEO and president Tammy Thurow asked for a bigger title when she got the job in December 2015.

Interim director is not a new role for Henke. He served in this position after former director Mike Bishop was fired in March 2015 and said he knows what it entails.

“Along with the board, I’ll oversee the transition to a new location,” Henke said. “I’ll act as director of the staff for the visitor center, and I’ll make sure our social media presence, online presence and visitor service presence are all stable and effective.”

Eureka Springs should be presented as a “synergistic destination” for visitors, Henke said.

“That includes removing limits from Jackrabbit and the visitor guide so anyone can participate in our marketing for Eureka Springs, regardless of whether they’re a member of the chamber or not,” Henke said. “The guests sign our paycheck in Eureka Springs. Without the guests, we can’t move forward economically. We have determined our goal is to push the community forward regardless of membership.”

The reason to join a chamber has everything to do with networking, Henke said.

“It’s credibility, networking and economic development,” he said. “Those three factors will be a platform for ongoing services and the work plan for the chamber.”

Miller was named COO of the chamber in May 2017 after working at NASA for 18 years. He could not be reached for comment.

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