Branson Chamber hires new CEO

home : enews articles lockdown :enews articles lockdownFebruary 10, 2015
2/10/2015 11:46:00 AM
Seifried takes top Branson chamber post
Jeff Seifried
Jeff Seifried

Brian Brown
Reporter

At the end of last night’s Springfield City Council meeting, Zone I Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Seifried resigned, effective Friday.

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s manager of regional development starts early next month as president and CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau. Seifried succeeds 12-year executive Ross Summers, who retired abruptly in October – about a week after announcing his resignation.

Branson officials hired national recruiting company SearchWide, and the organization received over 200 resumes and conducted around 45 interviews.

“Turned out, after a national search, the best person for Branson happened to be just 40 minutes up the road in Springfield,” said Steve Critchfield, search committee member and previous Branson chamber board chairman, in a news release.

After yesterday’s council meeting, Seifried said his last day at the Springfield chamber is Feb. 27, and his first day with the Branson chamber and CVB is March 2. Seifried has worked with the Springfield chamber since July 2007 and currently manages its regional economic development program for a 10-county region around Springfield that includes the Branson area.

“My focus all along has been clear. It’s about job creation and economic development,” Seifried said while announcing his resignation last night.

He pointed to the creation of the Moon City Creative District, growth on Commercial Street and the development of the Heer’s building as some of the projects he’s supported.

“Having a strong, fully developed center city makes not only Springfield strong, but our region strong,” Seifried said.

Mayor Bob Stephens expressed best wishes from the entire council before Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky shared a few words of her own about Seifried’s service. Rushefsky and Seifried have often stood on opposite sides of issues, such as the rezoning of 90 acres just east of the Quail Creek neighborhood or the redevelopment plan for the East Cherry Flats apartment project.

“I want to congratulate Branson on a really excellent catch. Mr. Seifried has been a very independent, intelligent and thoughtful member of this council,” Rushefsky said, adding she has appreciated his willingness to research issues and offer innovative solutions. “I particularly appreciate Jeff’s wonderful sense of humor. He has given and taken a lot of ribbing over the years, and I very much appreciate that he’s a good sport about it.”

According to a city of Springfield news release issued this morning, City Manager Greg Burris will set a timeline to fill the council vacancy and the city will then accept applications. Following council interviews of top candidates, the governing body will select Seifried’s replacement. City charter states that vacancies are filled by majority council vote, and the appointee will serve in the position until the next regular city election. Chamber members also will need to select a new mayor pro tem.

Seifried filled the chamber post vacated by Councilman Nick Ibarra inFebruary 2012. That seat became available after Ibarra was charged with a Class D felony following a domestic disturbance at his home. Seifried was formally elected to the Zone I seat in 2013.

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