Portales Chamber director to leave post at end of month

By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers

Kim Huffman, executive director of the Roosevelt County Community Development Corp. and the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce, has resigned for personal reasons, according to a CDC news release.
He has held the position since September 2002. His resignation is effective Aug. 31.

“I think it is just time that I pursue other career paths,” Huffman said in the release. “It has been a great four years, but it is just time that I move on.”

Sharon King, RCCC manager, will serve as interim CDC executive director when Huffman leaves, according to CDC President Jerry Partin.

As an Air Force colonel, Huffman was director of staff at Cannon Air Force Base before taking over the Chamber and CDC position.

“Kim came to us at a very trying time,” Partin said. “The Chamber had lost its manager, and the CDC’s executive director, Chase Gentry, left to take the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation’s executive position, so we had no executive leadership in either organization. Kim stepped in and staffed the organizations, relocated the offices to downtown and got us reorganized, which has been a great move for the community.”

Partin said Huffman’s tenure, rather than being a phase of industry recruitment, was one in which the community experienced solid growth with existing industry.

“The expansion of the existing industries has kept our plate full,” Partin said.

While the news release said the search for Huffman’s replacement would start immediately, Partin said the two organizations intend to reassess whether or not the executive director’s job should remain as a joint position or if it should be split.

“That’s one thing the Chamber of Commerce and the CDC will have to discuss,” Partin said of continuing the joint position. “We’ve got about seven to eight years of working history, and we need to see what is the better structure. It’s just a good opportunity to assess the overall management structure.”

According to Partin, since the time Gentry held the post after the death of CDC executive director Dallan Sanders, it has technically been a CDC position with additional duties contracted to the Chamber.

RCCC President John Pugh said it’s too soon to say whether the job should be split between the Chamber and CDC.

“I think it will depend on the applicant pool,” he said.

Huffman said he hopes to remain in the community but is uncertain of his own future. He was upbeat about the future of the community, however.

“I think the Portales and Roosevelt County community are going to do well,” Huffman said.