Greater Omaha Chamber president retiring

OMAHA, Neb. -- David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber, announced Friday that he will retire. He began his tenure in 2003. 

“Serving this community has been an incredible pleasure and true honor," Brown said. "Nearly 20 years ago, my family and I made the intentional decision to choose Greater Omaha as our home."

During his tenure, the chamber expanded the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership from a three-county, Nebraska-based partnership, to a two-state (Nebraska, Iowa), seven-county collaborative representing 44 percent of Nebraska’s population, and more than 60 percent of the state’s GDP.

The chamber’s public policy initiatives focused on partnerships over the past, nearly two, decades, including several with the state chamber of commerce.

“We have an exceptional team that will complement the new chamber leader,” Brown said. “Over the years, long-time chamber staff have built the foundation for success by elevating future generations of talented, passionate and committed colleagues. Combined with a visionary focus by chamber leadership and community partners, the chamber will retain, and enhance, its leadership position in the region and state.” 

“David Brown is the consummate professional. He is caring and committed. He listens, advises and adapts. He leads by example, and by innovation. I am proud to know David, and, as chair of the Greater Omaha Chamber Board of Directors, have witnessed first-hand his passion for business and his tireless commitment to Greater Omaha’s sustainable growth,” said James Blackledge, chairman and chief executive officer, Mutual of Omaha. “On behalf of the entire board, I wish him all of the best in his future endeavors, and remain in deep gratitude for his many, many contributions.”

Blackledge said a search committee to replace Brown has been appointed, which will provide guidance and resources throughout the selection process, including establishing expectations and parameters for potential candidates. Blackledge added a national search firm will be hired, as is typical in securing leadership for positions of this kind.

“We have every confidence in our committee, and in the selection process, going forward,” Blackledge said of the steps required to appoint the next Greater Omaha Chamber president and CEO.

Brown began his career in organizational leadership in Michigan in 1983 as president of the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation and director of the Port of Monroe. He served 10 years in Indiana at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, first as vice president of economic development and then as president. His next assignment took him to South Carolina where he was president and CEO of the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce. David assumed his current role as president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber in October 2003.