Columbia County Chamber of Commerce president resigns

Columbia County Chamber of Commerce President Jim Tingen resigned today.


An e-mailed announcement from the chamber said only that Tingen quit, effective today, "to pursue other career interests," and that Tammy Shepherd, vice president of business development for the chamber will serve as interim president.

"It is true," Tingen said. "I have resigned from the chamber. I don't think I've misbehaved or anything like that. It's just one of those things - I'm pursuing other interests, other business interests."

When asked if he had any specific business pursuits in mind, Tingen laughed and said, "Right now I'm going to be working on the weeds in my front yard."

Tingen was approaching his first anniversary as chamber president since his hiring April 15, 2009.

Acknowledging that the resignation would seem sudden to outsiders, Chamber Board Chairman Yvonne Meeks would not say if the resignation had been preceded by a disagreement with the board.

"We want it to be a very positive spin for everybody," she said. "Our group is a very astute group. We don't make any quick moves."

Tingen also wouldn't discuss whether there had been a disagreement with the board, such as the pay dispute that led to the resignation a year ago of then-President Karen Chrjapin.

"It's not like I tried to get raises and they wouldn't approve it," Tingen joked. "I really can't tell you anything now except that I agreed to pursue other interests, and they agreed to move on.

"We're trying to make it as nice and smooth as possible," he said. "I can't tell you any details."

Tingen formerly was with Calling Post Communications. After Chrjapin's resignation, he was selected for the position from among three finalists, including Shepherd.

All chamber events planned for Masters Week will go on as scheduled the Shepherd taking Tingen's place, Meeks said.





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