Sandy Evans Hall

Sandy Evans Hall

Steamboat's chamber launches executive search

Sandy Evans Hall is leaving after 25 years

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— The search to find a replacement for longtime Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association executive Sandy Evans Hall is under way.

Chamber President Jeff Steinke said the job opening was promoted to chamber executives throughout Western resort communities Tuesday.

“I didn’t realize how many people fit that description,” Steinke said. “We are focusing on someone with resort experience. This is such a different cat” from traditional chambers of commerce.

Evans Hall remains in her position this month after accepting a similar post March 18 with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. She is expected to leave for her new job in May.

Steinke said he’d like to name a replacement in the first part of July, but said he isn’t certain how realistic that is. The Chamber’s executive board and an at-large committee of community leaders will conduct parallel interviews with a short list of candidates as soon as three weeks from now, Steinke said. A Steamboat resident who is a retired executive of a Fortune 500 company will provide the structure for the hiring process, he added. Steinke declined to identify that person.

Former Chamber board President Bob Larson said the successful candidate to succeed Evans Hall needs to have the skill sets of a CEO without necessarily having the personality of a CEO.

“I’ll tell you, I’m a big fan of Sandy. We learned that she was a real leader in Colorado among chamber executives,” Larson said. “The next executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association needs to have vision, motivate the staff, know when to takes risks and have the guts to do the right thing, but do all that while bringing everybody on board.”

Steinke agreed that the next chamber executive director needs to have Evans Hall’s ability to persuade diverse groups in the community to work together on challenges and goals.

“We really need to focus on someone with marketing skills in a chamber resort environment who has the behavioral traits to bring people together in collaborative ways on things like Fly Steamboat,” Steinke said. “But they can’t just line up with the lodging community or retail businesses. They’ll have to be nimble.”

Evans Hall has worked at the Chamber for more than 25 years. She was hired in 1985 as its membership director and named its executive vice president in 2000.

During her tenure she has initiated programs such as the Winter Expo, Shop Steamboat, Adopt a Park/Trail and Leadership Steamboat. Leadership Steamboat, for which Evans Hall is a co-facilitator, has helped develop a new generation of community leaders through experiential learning and involvement.

Community lea­ders have said she was equally adept at working through the challenges of providing year-round commercial air service in a remote resort destination as she was at nurturing summer events that benefitted tourists and residents.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or e-mail tross@SteamboatToday.com

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