Casey Steinbacher, who has served as president and CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce since 2007, will step down on August 31 to pursue independent consulting work in urban innovation projects and strategy development.

Under Steinbacher’s direction, the Durham Chamber has received national and international acclaim for its leadership in economic and entrepreneurial development, winning the award for the Best Innovative Program at the World Chambers Congress in Doha, Qatar, in 2013. Durham has seen over $5 billion in announced new investment that created more than 20,000 jobs during her tenure, including the birth and rapid growth of an entrepreneurial eco-system that is now considered one of the most vibrant in the South.

“Casey’s leadership was exactly what the Durham Chamber needed in 2007. As much as anyone, she deserves credit for helping to steer the organization and the community through the economic downturn and then to a level of success that exceeded even our most optimistic expectations,” said William Brian, partner with Morningstar Law Group and 2015 Chairman of the Board of the Durham Chamber.  “Her passion for Durham, her relationships with our partners in the Triangle, and her commitment to the Chamber staff have positioned us well for the future.”

The Chamber board has formed a special committee to direct the search for a new President and CEO to be chaired by Farad Ali, CEO of the NC Institute for Minority Economic Development and board chair-elect.   “This process will begin immediately,” said Ali.  “We are confident that there will be a number of great candidates and we look forward to engaging Chamber members and the community to help us identify and recruit a dynamic new CEO.“

During the search process, Bill Shore, former Director of US Community Partnerships for GSK, has been named Interim President of the Chamber.  A former member of the Chamber board, Shore retired from GSK in 2011 but has remained active in Durham and many national and local boards. “Bill brings the experience of community relations and chamber engagement, and deep connections to many parts of the community, to the position and we are confident of his ability to oversee the daily operations of the organization during this transition,” said Brian.

Steinbacher has founded a new company that will be working on several key initiatives that the Chamber was instrumental in starting or bringing to Durham in addition to assisting other regions across the country interested in innovative economic development. “Working with the staff and leadership of the Durham Chamber over the last eight years has been an awesome experience. Together we achieved remarkable results that communities around the country now look at as best in class” stated Steinbacher. “I am excited now to embark on this next chapter of my life that will allow me to continue working for Durham on some of those fun projects in addition to even more new and innovative ways to help communities prosper”.