Kenyon leaves chamber due to family matters
The search for a new executive director of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce — a seemingly annual event — will begin soon, following the announcement of current director Craig Kenyon’s July 25th resignation.
Unlike his predecessor, Kenyon is leaving on his own terms.
“This is not something I want to do, but it’s something I have to do,” Kenyon said. “When it comes time, you have to do what your family needs.”
Kenyon will be moving to Knoxville, Tenn., with his family after leaving Powell.
Kenyon said he enjoyed his time as director, but one year was not enough time to accomplish all he set out to do.
“I just feel there’s a lot more training that could have been done,” Kenyon said.
Board member Charise White said Kenyon fulfilled everything the board has asked of him.
Chamber president Dan Hadden said Kenyon brought the chamber “out of the red and into the black” by getting more members to join the chamber of commerce.
“I took the job to help businesses, especially the small businesses here in Powell,” Kenyon said. “Our membership has grown immensely since I’ve been here.”
White said communication was one of Kenyon’s strong suits.
“Craig really went out of his way to make people feel included and that they were important to the chamber,” White said. “He improved the image of the chamber.”
Kenyon said one of his goals when he started at the chamber was to network with other communities. He said finding out what works in nearby towns is valuable information that could be applied to Powell.
“I would highly stress (networking) to (my successor),” Kenyon said.
Kenyon wants to help the transition go smoothly and make himself available to his successor for guidance.
“I’d be more than willing even after I’m gone to be available for consultation,” Kenyon said.
Hadden said Kenyon’s departure is different than those of past directors. Kenyon is the fourth executive director to serve the chamber since 2008.
“This time it’s family and personal matters,” Hadden said. “Nothing to do with the board and city.”
White also understands the circumstances of this situation.
“Craig’s done a really great job, but you have to take care of your family,” White said.
Both Hadden and White said they are sad to see Kenyon leave.
“We’ve had some problems with some others, but not with this one,” Hadden said. “He did a fantastic job.”
White said despite the high rate of turnover, Kenyon’s departure shouldn’t be viewed as a step backward for the chamber. She said sometimes you have to accept short-term struggles in order to achieve long-term success.
The executive director position will be posted soon in hopes it can be filled by the time Kenyon officially steps down.
Hadden said the board hopes to hire someone just as competent as Kenyon, while White said the poor economy should make it easier to find someone to hire.