Chamber’s Daugherty resignsBy Thomas Gnau, Journal
Business Writer, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was businesslike to the end, as Mid-Miami Valley Chamber of
Commerce Chairman Dan Sack recalled Friday: Chamber President David
Daugherty offered his resignation without rancor or emotion, Sack
“It was very professional,” Sack said. “He said, ‘This is in the
best interest of the chamber.’ ”
“He took it very well,” Sack added. “It was a mutual decision.”
With that, the chamber moved at least one step in what Sack
called a “new” direction. He has an interim chamber director in
mind, but he said he would not identify that person until next week.
“We just want to become a vibrant new chamber,” Sack said.
Two weeks ago, AK Steel Corp., the chamber’s largest member,
resigned from the organization on the same day well known Cincinnati
class-action litigation attorney Stan Chesley was the invited
speaker at a chamber luncheon. Chesley has litigated against AK.
In the following days, Sack announced the formation of a
committee of past chamber chairmen brought together to critically
examine any facet of chamber operations, including leadership.
It was on the advice of that committee’s members that Sack called
a meeting of the chamber’s executive committee Thursday afternoon.
Although Sack declined to say much about what happened in the
meeting, the problem of AK’s exit and what to do about it were
Said Sack, “We discussed a lot of things.” Including, he said, a
It was after that meeting that Daugherty offered his resignation,
Sack did not know if Daugherty has another position elsewhere
awaiting him or if he planned to stay in Middletown. He said a
financial severance was being arranged with legal counsel, but he
declined to elaborate. Daugherty did not have an attorney with him
at Thursday’s meeting, Sack said.
“If it’s all due to the AK situation, I’m very disappointed,”
said Tom Blake, an “ex-officio” chamber board member and chairman of
Middletown Economic Development Corp.
Blake said he spoke with Daugherty on the phone shortly after AK
left the organization. Blake said he heard no hint then that
Daugherty was considering leaving.
“I am surprised that he resigned,” Blake said. “I would have to
talk to him to understand his reason and rationale on that.”
Added Blake, “It all seems sort of strange.”
When Daugherty, then 47, took the chamber’s helm in August 1996,
the body was entering its second year as the Mid-Miami Valley
Chamber and had 480 members. He had been senior vice president of
the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce before taking the
top job here.
Today, the chamber has about 580 members, businesses and
organizations in Middletown, Monroe and Trenton. It boasts several
popular programs, including Women In Networking and a “business
after hours” gathering hosted by a different chamber member each
On Daugherty’s watch, a chamber political action committee was
formed and plans to bring a hot air balloon event back to Middletown
were finalized. (The event will be held Aug. 1-3.) Chamber leaders
also celebrated moving to a refurbished downtown office at 1500
“It has grown dramatically,” Sack said.
As of late Friday, Sack remained chairman and AK still was not a
AK Vice President of Public Affairs Alan McCoy early Friday
afternoon said he was not aware of Daugherty’s resignation
— nor would he give further comment on the resignation or
whether AK might consider re-joining the chamber.
“To reiterate, the chamber was not meeting our needs,” McCoy
said. “Going forward, we won’t speculate, but if we believe the
chamber reaches a point where it meets our needs, we’ll re-examine
the issue of possibly re-joining the chamber.
“I’ve told other (chamber) board members, ‘We’ll look at what
they’re doing in the future.’ But there’s not going to be any more
speculation beyond that,” he added.
Daugherty could not be reached for comment Friday.
Journal City Editor Bob Irvin contributed to this report.