Barbara Clark resigns as chamber executive director

P1 29 clark resigns

Barbara Clark

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Barbara Clark is resigning her post as executive director of the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, effective Jan. 10, 2014. Chamber Board President-Elect Madelyn Litz e-mailed chamber members with the news on Friday.

Litz said Clark, who was hired for the post eight months ago, was leaving “due to unforeseen personal issues,” and did not offer any additional explanation. When reached by phone on Friday, Clark declined to elaborate on her reasons, but did say she planned to relocate out of the state.

In her e-mail, Litz said that Chamber Office Manager Sue Mercer will work with others until a new executive director is found. “We are fortunate to have an outstanding office manager and support volunteers that have stepped up to the plate to bridge the absence of our ED until a replacement is secured,” Litz said.

“Sue Mercer is a highly-skilled business professional with many years of management and small business ownership experience,” Litz wrote. Mercer, who began work Sept. 30 as the office manager, has, with her husband Ed, owned and operated Mercer Photography Studio for over 30 years in Massachusetts. They became full-time residents of Naples in 2010.

Litz said Mercer “has agreed to help our chamber run ‘business as usual’ during this interim period. With the support and expertise of our chamber directors, we are sure to keep providing our members with the service and support they deserve.”

Clark said the chamber’s officers, acting as the executive committee, are in the process of putting together a search committee. Clark said it is “possible” that a new executive director will be able to be hired prior to her departure in mid-January.

Prior to becoming executive director of the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber, Clark was executive director of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce for nine years. She served on the Lakes Region Development Council and the Windham Economic Development Corporation and was active in local Naples issues, including the milfoil problem at Songo Lock and reconstruction of the Naples Causeway. Before moving to Naples, Clark was a 14-year senior manager at AT&T.

Clark was hired to succeed Jim Mains, who served for three and a half years as head of the chamber. Mains, who is credited with getting the chamber back on its feet after a period of instability, left to become general manager of the Bridgton Highlands Country Club.

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