Chamber Ceo Resigns

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After working two and a half years as the chief executive officer of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tom Kaleta has decided to call it quits.

"He has resigned," board member Judy Miller said Tuesday. "We don't have anything in writing yet, so it's not official, but he has resigned."

Kaleta said lack of support from the board of directors led to his decision.

"I just reached the point where I can't stand the lack of integrity," Kaleta said Tuesday morning.

"I am the second longest chamber exec who ever served here," he said. "That has to tell you something. People are usually in these jobs for 10, 15, 20 years. There is just no professionalism, no integrity, no commitment."

Mike Harper, president of the chamber board, said Tuesday that the board met and voted to ask for Kaleta's resignation.

"Beyond that," he said, "I don't think it's appropriate to respond to details at this time."

Kaleta said a number of other factors also played into his resignation including his desire to move back to Georgia.

"I'm out of here," he said. "I'm waiting for a mover to come and give me an estimate. I already have a house in the Atlanta area."

Kaleta moved to Payson from Georgia, with a brief stop in Scottsdale along the way. Back in his old stomping grounds, he was the publisher for the City Magazine Group in Athens and Savannah. It was while he was working there that he switched careers to become the interim president of the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce.

Just a few weeks ago, Kaleta said, he received a call from Augusta, asking him to take his old job back.

Instead, he said, he is toying with the idea of buying a magazine.

Harper said the board of directors will form a search committee next week to begin looking for Kaleta's replacement.

In the meantime, he said, board members have stepped up to keep things running smoothly.

"We're sharing duties between myself, Judy Miller, Pat Willis and other board members," Harper said. "All the chamber staff is staying. With our annual business showcase this week, everything is set. We're working to get through that and we don't anticipate any problems."

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