Officials with the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership say they are still in the early stages of the process to select a new CEO.

Dr. Ralph Ford, Chancellor of Penn State Behrend, is the chamber board member, who is chairing the nine member search committee. The committee is comprised of Chamber board members and Erie Mayor Joe Schember and Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper.

Through all its activities, the regional chamber strives to attract, retain, and expand business in the community.  

Ford said because Erie is at a pivotal time, they want to choose someone who is optimistic, accomplished, and will collaborate well with development efforts, already underway.  "The economic development system is in flux right now, there are a lot of things going on, so we need somebody who can come in and look at that and can say where does the chamber play out, what are the strengths that they can bring," Ford said.

By May, the search committee is expected to choose a national search firm to assist them in finding the right candidate.  The search for the CEO will likely take another 3 to 4 months after that.  Attorney Thomas Tupitza is acting as interim leader of the Chamber.  Barbara Chaffee stepped down as CEO of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership in October of 2017, after six years of leading the organization.