Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Capozzi resigned from his post June 21. Office Manager Ivey Rodriguez has been promoted. A new executive director is expected within 60 days.
BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR
The Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors accepted Executive Director Tony Capozzi’s resignation Friday, June 21. The move marks a major change for the coalition of more than 700 local businesses, but to certain board members, change also brings potential.
“If anything, it will be a positive impact to our members,” Board of Directors President Dan Warren, of the Volusia County Council on Aging, said, adding that board members have stepped up to fill voids in their given industries.
Board of Directors 2014 President Elect Chris Butera, of NAI Realvest, agrees.
“Anytime you make a change, sometimes you have to take a small step back to take a big step forward,” he said, of the potential impact Capozzi’s departure may have on the organization. “But we have a good staff in place. … We’re expecting to be able to handle this transition with minimal impact, if any, to our membership.”
Warren also added that Office Manager Ivey Rodriguez has been promoted to director of operations.
“We appreciate what (Capozzi) did for us these last couple years,” Warren said. “But he has chosen to resign. … (Rodriguez) has actually been doing a lot of the operations. … She’s been an integral part of the chamber for the past seven years … and she’s helping us with our transition forward.”
Although no new leader has yet been selected — applications for the position have already been received — Butera says that being “dynamic” will be the main quality he’s looking for in a director.
“We’re a chamber that has weathered the economic storm, and that’s made us a better chamber,” he said. “We’re looking for a strong leader to move us forward.”
The chamber board will hold a meeting Thursday, to further strategize the transition.
On whether or not the chamber will use the leadership shift as an opportunity to rebrand or refocus, Butera looked to the group’s membership.
“The biggest driver is our members, so we need to be an advocate for (them),” he said. “That’s not going to change. We need to create value for our members.”
No specific time frame is set for when a new director will be instated, but the process is expected to last 30-60 days. Rodriguez’s former position is expected to be filled within three weeks.
Whether or not an interim acting director will take the reigns in the meantime remains undecided.
With the slow season in session, and a long-term strategic plan currently in the works, Warren and Butera say the change in leadership came at a good time — “(The plan) can morph and revise as we move forward,” Butera explained.
“I think there’s a tremendous potential with our chamber,” he added. “I just think there’s a ton of upside. … We’re a growing and evolving chamber, and we’re not going to sit on our hands.”
Regularly scheduled business sparklers and ribbon-cuttings will not be impacted by the restructuring. July’s membership drive could be delayed. And next month, a nomination committee to select candidates for the chamber's 2014 board will be put together, with elections set for fall.
Cappozi served the chamber for about three years, as acting and executive director. His future goals remain personal at this time, according to Warren.