Baton Rouge Area Chamber

Recruiting a Qualified and Impactful President and CEO

Upon the announcement of the retirement of the Chamber President and CEO, many members of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) board determined that the Chamber needed to be more aggressive and proactive in creating change in the Baton Rouge region.  Finding this perception shared by Chamber members and the public at large, the board identified the need to revamp its image and program of work to become a vibrant organization and raise the bar for Baton Rouge and the Capital Region under new leadership. In turn, BRAC’s Board of Directors engaged SSA to assist in the national search and selection of the Chamber’s next top leader.

SSA worked closely with a 15-member search committee comprised of BRAC stakeholders to develop a formal candidate profile and job description. With this information, SSA advertised the position and began the arduous process of networking to uncover the best and possibly non-traditional candidates locally, regionally and nationally. From a base of over seventy inquiries and resumes received, SSA and the search committee selected 10 potential candidates for one-on-one phone interviews. Based on these interviews and preliminary reference checks, SSA recommended four individuals for the search committee to consider for the next phase of the search process. After interviewing each of these candidates face-to-face and facilitating an evaluation session among the search committee, SSA made its final recommendation for the board’s approval.

SSA successfully recruited BRAC’s new President and CEO. Under the successful candidate’s leadership, from 2004 to 2008, BRAC grew into a national-caliber regional economic development organization. Revenues tripled at BRAC, following the launch of “The Campaign for a Greater Baton Rouge,” a five-year, $15 million economic development initiative for the nine-parish Capital Region. Additionally, BRAC received dozens of national awards for economic development planning, marketing, communications and public policy research.



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