Rona Rahlf recently announced she was stepping down as the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) President/CEO, which put the Chamber’s Board of Directors in motion to evaluate its value proposition and explore new opportunities to enhance its service to the local business community as well as provide sustainable leadership to the countywide Valley Visioning initiative and public policy effort that continues to help Utah County shape it’s future.
“Rona has done an exceptional job in managing the Chamber over the past six years,” said Arthur Newell, senior vice president of Bank of Utah and former Chamber Board of Directors chair. “She has brought focus to the Chamber and taken events and policy advocacy to new levels of excellence. Chamber stakeholders are united in thanking Rahlf for her leadership and celebrate her success as the Chamber’s third President/CEO.”
New leadership begins now with Stan Lockhart, who has volunteered to serve and was appointed as the Utah Valley Chamber Interim President/CEO through September 2020, during which the Chamber Board will conduct a formal search for the next Chamber President/CEO. Lockhart, whose fulltime job as a lobbyist and business consultant with 30 years of experience in the technology industry, understands the business community of Utah Valley and has been instrumental in bringing thousands of jobs to Utah.
“We are very fortunate to have Stan lead our transition at the Utah Valley Chamber,” said Chris Yadon, executive director of The Younique Foundation and current Chamber Board Chair. “He is respected, loved, and lauded by business and community leaders throughout the Valley and State. His service will be key as we pivot and execute on the Chamber’s mission moving forward.”
The Chamber Board sent a communication June 10 to its members that has resulted in some confusion—having some members believe that the Utah Valley Chamber was suspending its operation indefinitely, which is not the case. While COVID-19 has dramatically disrupted the economy, it has also compelled the Chamber, like many businesses, to examine its value proposition and pivot to streamline services and operations to better meet the expectations and needs of its members.
“The Board acted quickly to ensure the Chamber and new leadership would have the resources needed to implement and invest in strategies going forward,” said Yadon. “At this inflection point, it is the right business decision to examine the Chamber’s service model and supporting organization to best meet member needs and help shape the economic prosperity of Utah Valley. Lockhart’s leadership will be key to assist the Chamber in this process.”
Regarding his willingness to be the Chamber’s interim President/CEO, Lockhart said, “It is time for me to give back to the community that has given me so much. Provo, Orem, and the rest of the Valley are among the most innovative business areas in the United States and a place where families want to live, learn, work, and play. We must continue to do more and help businesses solve their most pressing issues.”
The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites business leaders to get involved with the Chamber, offer suggestions on how the Chamber can best support their business needs, and to nominate individuals they think can best position the Utah Valley Chamber for success as its next President/CEO. Requests, suggestions, and nominations should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.