Milton chamber of commerce director resigns
MILTON Milton Area Chamber of Commerce Director Christina Slaback is stepping down at the end of the year to take an economic development post in Evansville, officials say.
In an interview Tuesday, Slaback said she decided at the end of November to take a job as director of the Evansville Chamber of Commerce. She's been chamber director in Milton for five years.
Unlike her post in Milton, which is full time, Slaback will work part time at the helm of Evansville's chamber.
She said the change is welcome; it will allow her to adjust to life after the birth of a son earlier this year.
She'll begin work in Evansville early next year.
Slaback's departure comes as Milton city officials and business leaders are grappling with change in the face of the Highway 26 bypass, which will be finished next year.
Officials said the bypass will require the city's business leaders to rely more on local and pedestrian traffic for commerce and tourism.
Slaback said the chamber already is seeking a new director.
The city is developing a new model for the chamber. Unlike other area chambers of commerce, Milton's chamber is a public-private partnership funded partly by chamber members and partly through city funding.
For years, the city gave the chamber a lump sum, but last year the city put earmarks on its funding, mandating that the chamber's director meet a quota of work on tourism and industry development.
This fall, the city council decided to further reshape its relationship with the chamber. Elected city officials Dec. 18 will appoint chamber and city council members to two panels on tourism and economic development, City Administrator Jerry Schuetz has said.
The panels will have authority to unleash funding for small economic development and tourism projects and make recommendations to the council for larger projects.
Schuetz said having a blend of business stakeholders and city officials on the panels will allow plans and potential projects to move forward more quickly and efficiently.
Despite Slaback's departure, Schuetz said, the city plans to move forward with its new relationship with the chamber. He said he's unaware if the chamber would want to handle its partnership with the city any differently.