Maricopa Chamber of Commerce

By Michelle Chance

The Maricopa Chamber of Commerce chairman said Wednesday, no public notice was posted for the open executive director position prior to the recent re-hiring of Terri Crain. It was a change of approach.

In the past, the board sent out press releases to the public announcing it was hiring for the position. The board also sent e-blasts to chamber members.

Not this time.

Subsequently, Chris Cahall said there were no other applicants other than Crain, who previously worked the same position at the chamber from 2006 and 2011.

It’s a stark contrast to the previous transition last year when the board searched for a candidate for two months, received 27 interested applicants and organized a selection committee to decide between finalists before eventually choosing Sara Troyer.

After Troyer’s hiring, business owner Kimberly Diedrich filed a lawsuit against the board over transparency regarding its hiring process. In November, Judge Daniel Washburn denied the chamber’s motion to dismiss the suit.

After working over a year as executive director, Troyer recently accepted a position in Illinois. Crain is set to take over May 15.

Because the position was not publicly advertised, it is unclear who contacted Crain about the position.

Crain currently lives in Texas.

Cahall would not confirm if the board approached Crain, adding, “I don’t think that’s important.”

Crain said she wasn’t privy to the details surrounding the process and was unaware the position was opening prior to her re-hiring.

“You’ll have to talk to the chamber board about how they approached me and everything,” Crain added.

Later, Crain clarified saying she wasn’t “directly approached” by anybody at the chamber.

“It’s just through relationships, and conversations happened,” she said.

Controversy swirled after Crain left the chamber six years ago. However, Cahall said the board is not concerned.

“There’s going to be opposition in every decision that anyone makes in life,” he said.

Crain said returning to the chamber is a “win-win for everybody and I’m just looking to come back to Maricopa and get re-engaged with the community and do good things.”

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