Austin J. Burke, President of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce for the past 31 years, announced his intention to step aside during the coming year.
Having previously shared his plans with the staff and board of directors of the Chamber, Burke made the public announcement Friday afternoon, Nov. 16, in the Chamber board room.
Burke expressed his intent to remain active with the Chamber after a successor is named. ‚??I plan to continue to help the Chamber and the community, especially where my experience and relationships can be beneficial to our organizations and our programs,‚?Ě he said.
In his announcement, Burke expressed that this was an opportune time to begin the transition to a new president. ‚??We have strong boards and a strong staff,‚?Ě he stated. ‚??We have just completed a yearlong strategic planning process, and we have a clear direction for our future.‚?Ě
He referenced the observation made by the management professional who has guided numerous Chambers through their strategic planning process, ‚??The Scranton Chamber‚??s organization and accomplishments‚?Ě the expert stated, ‚??are what every other chamber aspires to.‚?Ě
A search committee has been formed and is chaired by Dan Santaniello, Chamber board chair-elect to conduct a local and national search for a replacement for Mr. Burke. ‚??The challenging process should lead to identifying a new president sometime next year,‚?Ě Santanieool related.
Paula Mackarey, Chamber board chair, introduced Burke by referencing his 40 years in community development work in northeastern Pennsylvania. After his remarks she praised the ‚??$92 million in infrastructure development and $84 million in area job-producing facilities Austin developed through the Chamber during his tenure. Those efforts have directly produced over ten thousand local jobs for area families,‚?Ě she said.
Burke was flanked by the chairs of the various affiliates of the Scranton Chamber: LIFE (Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprises), SLIBCO (Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company), MetroAction, Leadership Lackawanna, Skills in Scranton, SIDCO (Scranton Industrial Development Company) and the Scranton Plan, when he made his remarks.