By Jeanne Sager
LIBERTY December 3, 2004 The new face at the helm of the countys Chamber of Commerce is a familiar one.
The chambers board decided to stay in-county in choosing resigning President/CEO Jacquie Leventoffs successor and Livingston Manor resident Jon Westergreen will assume the position next week.
Leventoff announced more than a month ago that she was taking a position at Kohls Warehouse Distribution Center in Wurtsboro, leaving the drivers seat of the chamber open.
Most recently director of Order Planning in the area of Merchandise Planning and Allocation for Limited Brands in New York City, Westergreen comes to the chamber with 14 years experience working with Fortune 500 companies.
Hes been a long-time weekend resident of Sullivan County, moving full-time to the Manor just last summer.
Although hes already hit the ground running and was unavailable for comment yesterday, Westergreen was quoted in a chamber press release as saying, This is a terrific county with prospects of many great happenings to come. I am excited to have the opportunity to assist in bringing them to realization."
Arden Dean, president of the chambers board, said he was pleased with the overall search for a new CEO.
We had 16 out of 30 candidates that we felt were qualified just by looking at their resumes, Dean said. Its amazing the people who want to do this job.
The chamber is a non-profit with small dues paid yearly by slightly more than 1,000 members.
We dont have a lot of money to spend, Dean explained.
But the net that was cast for a new head drew in a lot of talent, he said, talent like Westergreen, who Leventoff has expressed her own faith in.
I have full confidence in Jons skills as well as his acumen in the business world, Leventoff said. When someone of his caliber moves to Sullivan County and makes it his home, it demonstrates to me that Sullivan County is an attractive place for a corporate person to make their home."
Jon has a very strong analytical and financial background, hes moved up in a corporate setting he can follow and team with people, Dean said. He has a good presence about himself, hes well-spoken.
Hes just a good guy, Dean continued.
Dean said Westergreen is a good fit for the chamber because his business background meshes well with the changes that are happening in the county economy.
Were growing rapidly, and we really need to look at the business aspect of it, Dean said.
Westergreen was introduced to the Sullivan County Legislature yesterday, but Leventoff will remain on board until Dec. 10 to help with the transition.
Next up, the chamber is looking to name a new vice president to replace Jim Law, who tendered his resignation earlier this year with plans to move out of the area.
As we were interviewing for the presidents position, we were looking at candidates for vice president, Dean explained.
Westergreen will have a chance to meet with five of those candidates, because, as Dean said, he has to work with them.
Then the chamber board will sit down and review their options.
Hopefully within two weeks well have a vice president, Dean said.
The public is invited to meet Westergreen at the chambers annual meeting on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 4:30 p.m. at Bernies in Rock Hill.