FREEPORT – Executive Director Debora King is leaving the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce for a similar job in Brunswick. Her last day in Freeport is Sept. 21.

King has been the chamber’s executive director since late 2010. She begins her new position as executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Association on Oct. 1.

“The work (in Brunswick) is very similar to the work I’ve done with the chamber,” said King, who lives in Brunswick. “I love Freeport, but (the Brunswick position) was just an opportunity I felt I couldn’t let pass.”

King said the chamber’s board was notified of her resignation last week and she said the board would be putting together a search committee to look for her replacement.

Peter Warren, the chairman of the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce’s board, said King would be missed.

“I can’t say enough good things about her,” Warren said. “I think she’s been exceptional (as a leader) and we’re going to miss her.”

King said the chamber has about 185 members in its ranks. She said the chamber’s mission is a simple one: “Promote the interests of business and encourage economic development” in town.

Freeport has a unique situation when it comes to economic development entities. It has three organizations – the chamber; FreeportUSA, the local merchant’s association; and the Freeport Economic Development Corp. – all working to promote economic growth in the town.

But the organizations are far from rivals, King said.

“We take the opportunity to collaborate whenever possible,” she said.

The Freeport Economic Development Corp. works to bring new businesses to town and is “very eager to share that information,” King said.

FreeportUSA works with the local merchants, and there are some businesses that are members of both organizations.

“We just see ourselves as having the same goal of improving the local economy,” King said, adding that she was confident that the new chamber executive director would continue working with the other organizations.

Warren said the board has begun to explore how the chamber will be replacing King, adding that Member Services Director Carolyn Krahn will be filling King’s role on an interim basis until a replacement can be found.

As she leaves the Freeport chamber, King said she is most pleased with how the young organization has grown during her tenure there. The Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in January 2010, and, King said, it has grown steadily.

“I’m proud of where it’s at now,” she said. “It’s about building relationships, building partnerships. That was my mission, to get out there and provide value to the members.”

“She has done a lot of good things for us,” Warren said. “We as a board feel Deb has done an exceptional job. She has made our chamber strong and valid.”

She also has had some support in helping the chamber grow, King said. “(We have) a very strong, active and supportive board,” she said.

King said she plans on staying involved by becoming an associate member and she will continue to work on some existing programs for some time.

“I’m here to see some projects and events to their conclusion,” she said.

Warren said the board is grateful to King to see those commitments through and make the transition as easy as possible.

“We appreciate that,” he said.

Freeport Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debora King will be leaving the organization later this month to take a similar position with the Brunswick Downtown Association.   

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