For the second time in two years, the board of directors of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce has decided to take its public leadership position in a different direction. In a statement released this week, chamber board of directors Chairman George Osborne said a vote was cast Sept. 8 to not renew David Lacki's contract as president.
"David brought a good deal of expertise to the table in the area of tourism, and we are grateful for the work he did in that area in particular," Osborne said. "However, the board believed that the chamber needs to move in a different direction to establish a structure that will better serve its membership."
Lacki expressed disappointment in the board of directors' decision.
"I must admit this move came very unexpectedly for me," he wrote in an e-mail to the Sentinel. "I was starting to really feel comfortable working with the various members, business owners and elected officials.
"I must say, that the community has a very welcoming look and feel to it, no matter where you go throughout the Niagara River Region. I really enjoyed learning the many aspects of the area, from the Lewiston festivals to the communities that are so proud of their own local events, such as Porter, Ransomville and Youngstown. I have learned how each of them plays a vital role in bringing visitors and locals out to enjoy (the region).
"I also enjoyed my time working with the chamber board of directors and the various working committees on a regular basis, as well as the unique mix of chamber members that support the programming.
"I will always hold Lewiston and the River Region (as) a special place, as I feel it holds unlimited tourism potential being (a) border community.
"I know my time here was short, but the positive out of all of this is that I have many people that I consider new friends."
Osborne said Lacki will not necessarily be replaced. The board of directors will decide if candidates are to be recommended and interviewed for the position, or if the president's responsibilities will be permanently redistributed among the chamber staff and board of directors.
Those individuals will now assume Lacki's duties on an interim basis.
Lacki replaced Interim President Cara Turner in July 2009 after what the chamber called "an extensive regional search."
The Chamber of Commerce coordinates the River Region's promotion and tourism-related endeavors, while supporting local businesses and organizations.