On Monday, July 25, Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce made the surprising announcement that President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Chapin has decided to step down, effective August 1.
Chapin’s sudden departure comes as a big surprise to many in the High Point business community. Chapin was a no-show at the “State of The City” luncheon at High Point University’s Qubein Center. At the 400-attendee event last week, two Business High Point-Chamber staffers and the board’s chairman spoke at the podium – but there was no mention of Chapin.
The Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce was founded in August of 2015 by a merger of the High Point Chamber and the High Point Partners, a private economic development group.
Chapin only gave 5 days’ notice – not the 30 days one would expect for a job of this nature.
Also unusual is this: The letter announcing the departure didn’t come from Chapin but instead from the board chairman.
One prominent High Point business leader summed it up in this way: “Something odd is going on.”
In his six years of leading the organization, Chapin oversaw a number of key projects, increased chamber membership and helped start the minority entrepreneurship initiative called Thrive High Point.
Chapin did offer a parting statement in the press release.
“These last six years have been some of the most rewarding of my career,” he stated in the release. “Thanks to the leadership of our board, the talents of our staff, the commitment of our chamber membership, and the trust of community leaders, Business High Point has achieved more than any of us could have ever imagined, truly transforming this community for generations to come. It is certainly bittersweet, but it’s time for me to take the next step in my life and career, to get out of my comfort zone, and explore new and challenging opportunities.”
The Business High Point Executive Committee put out a statement saying that its members are thankful for Chapin’s leadership and efforts “in growing the organization and building sustainable programs for the business community.”
Executive Board Member David Congdon said that Chapin took the organization “to a new level.”
Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer Rachel Moss will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the organization. The board is currently creating a five-year strategic plan meant to determine the needs of the local business community and the organization. That plan will help shape the selection for the next CEO.