Bartow Chamber Executive Director Retires
BARTOW, FL, 12/10/21 – Jeff Clark, Executive Director of the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce, will retire December 15, Board Chairman Tracy Kimbrough announced today.
Clark initially informed the Chamber Board of his desire to retire in August of 2019. “Due to the challenges of the pandemic, Jeff agreed to postpone his retirement in order to guide the Chamber organization though unprecedented times,” Kimbrough said. “Now, two years later, he is finally going to do it. Although he will be greatly missed, his retirement is well deserved. He leaves behind two decades of commitment and dedication to our community through his service at the Chamber – as well as big shoes to fill.”
Clark has served as the Executive Director for nearly 20 years. He began his career in advertising, marketing and public relations, and was a founding partner of Clark/Nikdel, now CNP Agency in Winter Haven. He also served as Marketing and Public Affairs Director for Bartow Memorial Hospital, now BayCare Bartow Regional Medical Center, for 10 years prior to joining the Chamber.
“2022 brings the hope of a world where Covid 19 no longer has its grip, with opportunities for the Chamber to resume many of the programs and activities that have been put on hold, as well as to pursue new ways to serve its members and the community,” Clark said. “For the past 20 years, I have enjoyed a supportive Board, staff and amazing community volunteers. It has all made for an incredible opportunity to serve my hometown, where creating lifelong relationships has been the ultimate reward.”
Over the past month, the Executive Committee has met with Clark to plan an exit strategy. “The Chamber’s continued success is very important to Jeff, and he has worked hard to provide the Executive Committee with valuable information regarding the current state of affairs, as well as forecasts that will assist with operations moving forward,” Kimbrough explained. Clark will remain available to the Chamber Board on an as-needed basis.
In the meantime the Chamber’s Communications Director, Virginia Condello, will serve as Interim Executive Director. Virginia has been with the Bartow Chamber for 18 years. “The replacement of the top-level Executive in any organization is an important decision. For Chambers of Commerce, these positions are often viewed as the ‘face’ of the community and need thoughtful consideration and vetting,” said Kimbrough. “This will give the Board time to implement a process for finding a new Executive Director.
Clark stated, “I am thankful to have the opportunity for more control over my life and to focus on the things that are most important to me. For more than 46 years, it has been my job and career. However, as I have gotten older, I realize that priorities change. When that happens, so should your life.”