The Rim Country Chamber of Commerce finally has its new executive director.
Mike Harper, Chairman of the Chamber board of directors announced today (Friday) that the job has gone to Bob Ware, who for more than two years has been the executive director of Mogollon Health Alliance.
Ware will assume his new duties July 27, taking over the office formerly occupied by Tom Kaleta, who resigned last April.
"I'm very excited and looking forward to helping make the Rim country a more livable and lovable area," Ware said Friday morning, shortly after the news of his selection was announced. "I hope to help make this area a true destination location for people from the Valley.
"Growth, which is inevitable, must be balanced for both those who live here and those who will come here in the future," he said. "Most important, we must ensure that this area has a constant opportunity to create jobs and allow residents to earn income so that they, too, can afford to live and work in the Rim area.
"I want to hear the comments, thoughts and points of view of not just the chamber members, but of all who live here," the new chamber leader said.
Ware, who holds a master of business administration degree, has operated non-profit blood centers across the United States. He has also owned and operated a small construction business in Phoenix, and has done consulting work in that profession.
Although he has lived in the Rim country since 1998, Ware said, he has owned a cabin near Kohl's Ranch for 35 years and is familiar with the Rim country.
"Bob is a highly qualified local candidate," Harper said. "We were hoping to find someone local, and he's a terrific fit. Bob is familiar with the town and has a great sense for the area. And he shares the same ideas about the chamber that the board shares."
One of Ware's first duties, Harper said, will be to visit with the chamber members "to help re-establish a more direct connection between the chamber and the business membership.
"We want to more actively develop and find new ways the Chamber can benefit its members," Harper said. "It's more than just paying your dues and getting a sticker. There is real value in being a chamber member, and Bob is well aware of the direction (the board wants) to go."