Luke Reven, executive director of the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce, has his announced his resignation as head of the local business advocacy association.
Reven, who was hired to lead Chamber operations in June 2009, will end his tenure as director on July 26.
According to a Chamber release, he plans to relocate with his family to the Philadelphia, Pa., area, where his wife, Michelle Wade, an assistant professor of political science at Northwest Missouri State University, has reportedly accepted an academic position.
"I wish to extend my thanks to members of the (Chamber) Board of Directors, past and present, who have been a joy to work with these past four years," Reven said in a prepared statement. "I am proud of what we have been able accomplish together, growing events like the Maryville Marathon, creating new events and promotions like the Northwest Missouri Home & Better Living Show and the White Christmas Sweepstakes.
"... I appreciate the efforts of all our Chamber members, volunteers and staff, as well as our community partners, particularly Nodaway County Economic Development, Nodaway County, Northwest Missouri State University and the city of Maryville."
Chamber President Audra Bradley said Reven has worked to move the chamber forward in a number of ways, especially in terms of events and activities that allowed members to promote individual enterprises as well as Maryville's overall business community.
"On behalf of the board and investors in the Chamber of Commerce we wish to thank Luke for his dedicated service to our community," said Bradley, who added that the search for a new director will extend across the region, and, via the web, the country.
Reven, Bradley said, has been particularly effective in enhancing the Chamber's online presence through social media, a revamped website and a community portal that provides rapid access to links associated with local businesses, special events, economic development, government, education, health care and employment.
Other Reven initiatives have included the White Christmas Sweepstakes shop-local campaign and a series of business-related best-practice workshops undertaken in partnership with Northwest Missouri State University's student career-pathing program.
"The thing about (the executive director's) position is that person has to wear a lot of hats," Bradley said. "Not everyone can do that. But Luke wore pretty much all of them."
Besides raising the Chamber's profile with new programs, Reven sought to enhance existing events, using the media, the Internet and extensive personal contacts to shine a brighter spotlight on the Maryville Marathon & Chamber Country Classic, the Nodaway County Fair Parade and the annual Farm-City Banquet.
He also expanded the Chamber's political role by establishing a Government Affairs Committee, which hosted pre- and post-session coffees featuring presentations by state lawmakers. In addition, Reven assumed leadership positions both locally and regionally having to do with organizing Great Northwest Day, a yearly lobbying event at the state Capitol in Jefferson City.
Page 2 of 2 - In other arenas, Reven worked to build stronger ties between the local business community and City Hall, serving as a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission, regularly attending City Council Meetings and frequently meeting with municipal officials on growth and development issues.
"Mr. Reven has become a role model for civic engagement in our community," City Manager Greg McDanel said Wednesday. "We wish him the best in his future endeavors."