CREST HILL – The Crest Hill Chamber of Commerce is starting from scratch.
Officials say the city’s chamber underwent a rocky change in leadership in the past six months after some “internal issues” caused it to struggle.
“To be fair I wasn’t around at the time,” said Sean Robertson, president of the Chamber since April. “It sounded like one person was doing all the work. And there was a conflict. That made it tough to run the chamber.”
Robertson, managing partner of Robertson Law Group, LLC, said he hopes to rebuild the organization through hiring staffed positions and putting in place procedures and processes for how things work.
“When I came in, the chamber didn’t have systems in place or they were not set up the way they needed to be set up,” Robertson said.
Two part-time employees are helping organize the chamber and set up events, Robertson said. He also wants to hire an interim executive director to handle day-to-day operations.
“From my perspective, the chamber can’t depend on one person,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re more of a team.”
Former President Gina Schaal started leading the chamber in July 2013 but resigned in January.
“Not enough people really wanted to do the work,” Schaal said, declining to comment on the issues that led to her resigning. “I’ve been doing most of it. I just don’t want to be affiliated with [the chamber] anymore.”
Schaal also was frustrated at what she said was a lack of support from the city when she was president.
“I really did not feel like they cared if the chamber was there or not,” she said.
Mayor Ray Soliman said he has supported the chamber in the past by attending events.
“It is the responsibility of the chamber to set the policy and direction of their organization,” Soliman said. “As mayor, I feel I have been supportive in promoting the chamber in the past and attended many of their events. I look forward to working with the chamber in the future.”
Robertson said Soliman has been open to him when he assumed leadership of the Chamber.