Chamber leader resigns

Bright steps down to accept Chamber position in Florida


    The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the resignation of Executive Director Gary Bright.  His last day at the Chamber will be Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011.  Bright has accepted the position of President/CEO of the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce in Lehigh Acres, Fla.
    “This decision was a tough one for Jackie and me,” Bright said.  “In the three years and eight months since we came to Clear Lake we have been amazed at the love the people have for their community and the willingness to volunteer to make sure all the good things about Clear Lake continue to happen.”

    Bright came to the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce in March of 2008 after spending 18 years in Sterling, Ill., where he was Executive Director of the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and property manager of Northland Mall.

    “This position in Lehigh Acres will be much different than here in Clear Lake,” Bright said.  Lehigh Acres, Fla. is an area of 87,000 people located in Lee County in the southwest part of the state. 
    “Like many areas of the country, Lehigh Acres has had a difficult past few years and the Chamber has suffered through the economic downturn,” Bright said. “Where our focus in Clear Lake is on tourism, in Lehigh Acres we will be concentrating on membership recruitment and developing programs to serve the member businesses of the area.”
    Bright also said that family was a big factor in making the decision to move to Florida. “Our two oldest children and our only grandchild live in Ft. Myers and this opportunity makes it possible for us to be closer to them,” Bright said.
    “We hate to see Gary leave the Chamber,” said Chamber Board President Mark Ebeling.  “He made my job as Board President as easy as possible. Gary is leaving the Chamber in better shape than when he arrived and we could not have asked for more.”
    Ebeling said the Board will be naming a search committee to recruit a new executive director in the coming days.

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