Ron Harr, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, has announced that he is retiring from his position effective July 1 on the advice of his doctor.
"Recently during a routine health examination, I was diagnosed with extreme hypertension," Mr. Harr said. "While this condition is very treatable, my family history suggests potentially serious risk factors. As a result, my doctor recommends removing myself from full-time employment as the best chance to extend my life. After discussions with my family, I believe my best course of action is to resign my post at the Chamber."
Howard Levine, chairman of the Chamber board, expressed his appreciation for Ron's efforts. "Ron has done an outstanding job for us during his tenure as president and CEO," Mr. Levine said. "He's handled many challenging situations while growing the Chamber's membership and keeping us on track to meet our 2015 job creation goals."
Mr. Levine also thanked Mr. Harr for his willingness to stay on for four months and perhaps even longer to ensure a smooth transition. "We're fortunate that we can continue to count on Ron to lead the day-to-day operations of the Chamber," Mr. Levine said. "But, we will work quickly to manage this change and fill this critical leadership position."
According to Mr. Levine, the process of convening a transition committee and starting an accelerated but thorough CEO search process has already begun.
In a letter to the Chamber board and membership, Mr. Levine wrote: "Please join me in thanking Ron for handling this situation with such professionalism and such a clear commitment to continuing the operations and efforts of the Chattanooga Chamber at the highest level."