Chatham-Kent chamber names new chief

Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce has named a new president to replace its longtime chief, who retires next month.

Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce has named a new president to replace its longtime chief, who retires next month.

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Rory Ring will step into the role of president and chief executive in June, replacing Gail Hundt, who steps down after more than 28 years.

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“We welcome Rory to the position along with the knowledge and experience with chamber membership, business intellect and community relations that he brings to our chamber,” board chairperson BJ Griffiths said in a release. “We look forward to his leadership and welcoming him to Chatham-Kent.”

Ring joined the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce in 2016, moving from Sarnia where he lived for 15 years and ran the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce for three years.

He has “always been focused on the need for a community to build a sustainable and growing economic base from within, while maintaining strong support for exporting and a global philosophy,” the release said.

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He holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a political science degree from Western University.

“I am honored to have been selected as the incoming president and CEO. . . and I look forward to contributing to the growth and success of the members, local business community and . . . Chatham-Kent,” Ring said.

Ring, who worked as a commercial banker and innovation lender, was business growth services member for the Sarnia Lambton Economic Development Partnership, running the business retention and expansion program with Ontario’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry.

He chairs the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ontario, is an executive board director of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and director of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. He is a past director of Sault Ste. Marie’s downtown association and economic development corporation.

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Ring recognizes diversity and inclusion are multifaceted issues whuch must bed tackled “holistically to better engage and support all underrepresented groups within the business community,” the release added.

Hundt, who retired June 27, said she was pleased with Ring’s appointment.

“I have worked with Rory for all his years with the chambers and have witnessed his dedication to ensuring value to members, a voice for business, and a deep support of the chamber network and profession,” she said.

“I feel assured, as I walk away, that he will be an asset to the Chatham-Kent chamber members, board of directors, and community at large.

“While I will miss the people, the many relationships made and the memorable initiatives taken to support and make change for local business, I am certain Rory will appreciate them as I have,” she added. “I will soon step back, rest easy and enjoy my retirement’s added hours with family and friends.”

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