The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry announced today that Deb Woolley, who served as the organization’s president and CEO for almost a decade, has left the organization.
In a statement, the chamber stated that Woolley (pictured at left) was no longer employed “effective May 31 under terms of her employment agreement" and the group has launched a search for a new president and CEO.
Wayne Scharber, the chamber’s vice president for environment and taxation, has been named interim president, according to Bill Ozier, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors. Scharber (pictured at right) has been with the chamber 13 years and was employed for 36 years in state government.
“We are fortunate to have someone as trusted and experienced as Wayne to help us steer the chamber forward during this interim period,” Ozier said, adding that all chamber programs and services will continue as usual while the executive search is under way.
“We are going to build on the Tennessee Chamber’s 100-year track record of success, with new programs and fresh ideas on how better to serve Tennessee businesses and industries,” Ozier continued.
Ozier said that a key part of the chamber’s mission is a strong and cooperative relationship with Gov. Bill Haslam and the General Assembly. Ozier said the chamber plans to have a new CEO in place later this year “so that individual and the entire Chamber can work with the Administration and legislators to uphold Tennessee’s well-deserved reputation as a prosperous and business-friendly state.”
Ozier said the chamber believes the outlook for business in Tennessee is “excellent and filled with opportunities. Our goal is to help our member businesses succeed in every possible way.”
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry bills itself as "the voice of business in the state and Tennessee’s largest trade association representing employers and their employees."