Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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June 18, 2014

No date set to fill Athens chamber position

Athens — The Athens Chamber of Commerce search for a new president is being handled with care as the search committee looks at applicants.

Chamber Board President Ashley McKee said the position was advertised and 11 applications were received. They’ve gone through the first round of interviews, and will give the matter plenty of deliberation before making a choice. She said no date has been circled concerning when the decision will be made.

“We want to make sure we pick the right person,” McKee said. “Becky Smith has been doing a good job in the interim.”

The next president will replace Mark Rathe, who left in March, having led the chamber since June of 2013. In his resignation letter tendered in February, Rathe said he was leaving for family reasons and would be moving to Oklahoma to be near his family.

Chamber bylaws allow 21 days from the time the president leaves to the naming of an interim. The board selected Smith, who was hired in 2013 as office manager, to temporarily fill the spot. She has been visible around the community and at the chamber headquarters, located in the Athens Partnership Center on Corsicana Street.

The new chamber president will be the third since 2010. Sarah Heuber was hired in April of that year and resigned in December 2012.

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