Fayette resident named head of Georgia Chamber

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has announced today that Fayette County resident Chris Clark has been selected as the organization’s new President & CEO effective November 1, 2010.

Clark, who is currently the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, succeeds George Israel who announced his retirement earlier this year after eight years of service to the Chamber.

“I want to thank the Georgia Chamber for offering me this incredible opportunity,” said Clark. “It is an organization with a successful past, a strong membership base, a dedicated staff, and exciting plans for its future. Companies large and small form our state’s economic foundation and I look forward to working with business and government leaders to implement policies that will create jobs and build our economy.”

Clark also serves as a volunteer member appointed to the Fayette County Water Committee, which makes recommendations about water system operations to the Fayette County Commission. Clark previously served as president and CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority and later moved to a position as an economic developer for the state of Georgia.

“When we began our search, we never imagined that we would find anyone as well-suited for this position as Chris,” said Suzanne Sitherwood, Chair of the Georgia Chamber Board of Directors and President of Atlanta Gas Light. “Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to the betterment of our state, an ability to identify effective solutions for tough challenges, and a talent for bringing key stakeholders together to achieve common goals.”

Currently Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, Clark previously served as Executive Director of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, during which time he was a member of the State Water Council, an entity created by a Georgia Chamber led effort. As Deputy Commissioner for Global Commerce at the Department of Economic Development, he was part of the team responsible for attracting the Kia Motors Manufacturing plant to Georgia.

“The Department of Natural Resources has benefited greatly from Chris Clark’s leadership,” stated Board Chair Jenny Lynn Bradley. “Chris has had the unenviable task of guiding the Department during an extremely difficult budget time. Due to his effective management, we have made the necessary adjustments to the budget and we are moving forward to continue to serve the people of Georgia. While Chris will be missed, we look forward to working with him in his new capacity at the Georgia Chamber and we wish him well.”

A native of Fitzgerald, Georgia, he received his bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and his master’s in public administration from Georgia College and State University. He was named as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine and is a past president of the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

Clark began his career in public service as President of the Hawkinsville Chamber of Commerce.

Clark will remain Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources through October 31, 2010.

The Georgia Chamber selection resulted from a national search led by Dale Jones of international executive search and leadership consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles.

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