Terri Crain. Photo by Mason Callejas

Maricopa Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Terri Crain announced Friday she will soon leave the organization.

Crain is slated to become the Chief Operating Officer of her cousin’s event lighting and sound business based in Tempe. Crain said she will remain a resident of Maricopa and retain her recent appointment on the Citizen Transportation Advisory Committee to the Pinal County Regional Transportation Authority.

The Chamber will hold onto its president part-time until at least mid-May, or until it can find a person to fill the position.

Crain, in her official capacity as Chamber president, bid to operate Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship last year.

The city council didn’t take the chamber up on its offer. However, Crain said if the deal could have been struck, she’d likely stick with the Chamber.

“I guess the conversation with my cousin would have been different,” Crain said. “I absolutely would have still found a way to help my cousin, but maybe not on such a full-time level.”

Crain’s announcement comes just shy of her first anniversary of re-joining the Chamber. The Board announced it hired Crain April 18, 2017, after former Executive Director Sara Troyer resigned.

Before that, Crain previously ran the chamber in 2006 and left under controversial circumstances in 2011.

In a news release, Crain said the decision to leave the chamber did not come easily.

“I have a passion for Maricopa and the Chamber, and Chamber work in general,” Crain said, citing her new opportunity to help her cousin’s business grow as the reason for her departure. “The Chamber Board has been very supportive and open to new ideas. I want to thank you for the opportunity and faith you extended to me in my transition back to Maricopa.”

It’s unclear when and how the search for Crain’s replacement will begin.

Chamber Board President Chris Cahall could not immediately be reached for comment on this story.