After a little more than a year at the helm of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Brenda Case is no longer working with the group.
Case says the board of directors gave her no reason as to why she was let go.
Heather Oberg, chamber board president, said they had parted company with Case.
“The board has been in discussions with Brenda for many weeks and we recently came to the conclusion that a fresh start in a new direction would be in the best interest of the chamber and for Brenda.”
Case came to the chamber after spending seven years working with the Payson Unified School District as the director of curriculum and instruction and assistant superintendent.
She became the executive director of the chamber on July 1, 2020, shortly after Maia Crespin stepped down following the birth of her son.
Case was the chamber’s fifth executive director since 2014.
Case said she enjoyed working with the business community.
“I want to say thanks to the businesses in Rim Country and the owners,” she said. “It was a great experience, being part of their business journey.”
Case says she doesn’t know what she will do next and will take some time to figure that out.
She said she would focus on spending time with her family and had no plans to leave Rim Country. Her family has owned a cabin in Tonto Village since 1960.
“We appreciate Ms. Case’s efforts to carry the chamber through a year of COVID challenges and we wish her well in her future endeavors,” the chamber wrote in a Facebook post.
The chamber has gone through changes over the years. Years ago, it used to help organize the rodeo. In recent times, it not only worked with the business community, but acted as the hub of information for visitors. Recently, the town decided to take back visitor center duties. The Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department will take over the visitor center from the chamber next year.
Oberg said they have been working with the town on the transition. She said while the chamber of commerce has been proud to provide oversight and management of the visitor center, it has in fact always been a function of the town, furnishing both visitors and locals with information ranging from local eateries, shops, upcoming events, places to see and more. This transition will allow the chamber of commerce to focus on more business-centric ideas.
“Change doesn’t have to be scary. It can be invigorating. An adventure. We know that we are on the right track, re-focusing on our business members,” she said. “We are actively working towards providing more resources for our current chamber of commerce members and we hope to attract more businesses to the entire Rim Country area.”
Changes include plans to expand membership benefits, offer more help to prospective business owners, host informational workshops and events.
“We will have a dynamic team moving forward. Our board is volunteer-based, with business owners who are passionate about growing Rim Country, and we will be adding a team that will work closely together; we will have an executive director who will be our main point of contact in terms of memberships sales and events, as well as a key administrative support person who will keep us organized and on track.”
The annual public board meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 10 at the Payson Golf Club. The current board of directors is Heather Oberg (Ironhorse Signs), Andy Strader (National Bank of Arizona), Carol Quigley (Accounting For You), Tina McAllister Smith (Rim Country Living), Max Ryden (APS), James Bruzzi (Bruzzi Vineyard), Sue Zen (My Imago Dei Photography), Shawn Dugan (Payson Chevron Rim Liquor/Payson Dump & Clean), and Michael Obenauf (Wilde Wealth Management Group).