State and County chambers to see changes at the top

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The Delaware State and New Castle County chambers of commerce are seeing the departures of their top executives.

Long-time New Castle County Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kleinschmidt has resigned, effective immediately.

On the same day, the State Chamber announced that a search will get underway for a new president to succeed Rich Heffron, who will retire from the post on June 30, 2018. A letter to members noted that Heffron had no made a secretof his plans to retire.

County Chamber Chairman Tim Boulden, a Newark plumbing, heating and electric service company owner, made the announcement of Kleinschmidt’s resignation in a message to members.

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“Mark has led the Chamber for many years and the Board extends our best wishes to him. The Board unanimously approved Bob Chadwick to step in as Acting President. Bob has been with the Chamber for over ten years, and we are confident in his experience and expertise. In addition, we are fortunate to have a great staff at the Chamber, all focused on ensuring that members receive the services and programs that will help their businesses thrive,” Boulden wrote.

The County Chamber had no further comment on the announcement and there was no word on a search for a successor to Kleinschmidt.

“Over the last six months, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the past 12 years and consider what the next 12 years might bring. With that in mind, I have decided to take the next big step in my career and will be moving forward to pursue a new opportunity in 2018, stay tuned for more information,” Kleinschmidt wrote in a Facebook post.

The post also alluded to a serious heart attack he suffered over the summer, with Kleinschmidt mentioning a “second chance at life.”

Recently, Kleinschmidt helped engineer the relocation of County Chamber offices from the New Castle area to the Wilmington Riverfront. The County Chamber originally served the Newark area.

Heffron agreed to take the post of president, after serving for many years in the Number two post at the State Chamber. This followed the departure of Joan Verplanck after a short, turbulent stint at the post.

Recently, Heffron was involved in the effort to former the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, a public-private group that will handle some of the functions of the former Delaware Economic Development Office.

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