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Richard Norton Retained as Interim President & CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber


Greater Akron—The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Greater Akron Chamber announced today that it has retained Richard Norton as Interim President and CEO of the Chamber, effective May 1.  He will assume responsibility for the day-to-day activities of the Chamber, replacing on an interim basis Dan Colantone, who announced his resignation March 29.  
Norton, 68, began his career as a management trainee with First National Bank in 1969 and retired from FirstMerit as President and CEO of its Southern Division in 2002.  He served as Mayor of the City of Green from 2008 – 2015.  He previously served on the boards of both the Greater Akron Chamber and its predecessor, the Akron Regional Development Board.  He also has served numerous community and non-profit organizations including the United Way, Akron General Development Foundation, Stan Hywet, Green Schools Foundation, Info Line, The Salvation Army, and The University of Akron’s College of Business Administration. 
“We are pleased that we are able to call upon an executive with Dick’s knowledge and experience to help lead the Chamber during this transitional period.  His existing relationships with key stakeholders and investors of the Chamber will serve the Chamber well.  He possesses the leadership and communications skills to effectively represent our membership, promote economic development for the tri-county region, and lead and motivate the Chamber staff,” said Donzell Taylor, chair of the Greater Akron Chamber’s Board of Directors.  “We also will ask Dick to assist our Search Committee in identifying, recruiting, and evaluating candidates to be the next Chamber president.”
Marc Merklin, Managing Partner, Brouse McDowell; Virginia Addicott, President and CEO, FedEx Custom Critical; and John Petures Jr., President and CEO, Akron Community Foundation, will comprise the Search Committee with Merklin serving as chair.
“I am honored that the Executive Committee of the Chamber’s Board has the confidence in my ability to help lead the organization through this transitional period and to help identify and recruit the next Chamber president,” Norton said.  “I know the City of Akron, Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties and have worked on behalf of this region for many years.  I look forward to working with the Chamber staff to make the transition to new leadership a smooth and successful one, and to help identify any changes in strategy or direction that might better serve the Chamber’s members and communities.”
Serving Medina, Portage, and Summit Counties, the Greater Akron Chamber is dedicated to ensuring the sustainable economic growth of the Greater Akron region and provides membership benefits with a focus on regional economic development. Chamber members include global manufacturers, universities, local medium-sized and small businesses and non-profit organizations. 
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