augusta free press news

Intrigue at the Chamber of Commerce

Movement to rehire deposed president, CEO?

Story by Chris Graham

E-mails sent to select members of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce last week suggest that there might be a movement afoot to try to overturn the decision of the Chamber’s Board of Directors to part ways with former president and CEO Ben Carter.

A statement from the Chamber Board sent to members Monday morning acknowledges the effort and encourages the membership to “support the Board’s judgment in this matter.”

“The Board believes it’s in the best interests of the Chamber to proceed with new leadership,” reads the statement, which is attributed to the GARCC Board of Directors.

Word first got to us on Friday that e-mails had been sent to some members regarding a scheduled Tuesday meeting scheduled to be held at the headquarters of Reo Distribution in Waynesboro regarding the Jan. 28 removal of Carter from his Chamber post.

A request for comment from Carter on the story was not returned as of the posting of this story late Monday morning. We will update the story later today as more details become clear.

The most substantive item that we have now is the communication from the Chamer.

“It has come to our attention that there are members who believe a Special Meeting of the Membership should be called in order to overturn the decision of the Board of Directors causing Mr. Carter to be rehired. The Board asks the members to consider this request and its potential consequences very carefully and to trust that the Chamber Board, which is comprised of volunteer business leaders like you, acted in a careful and deliberate way in this confidential personnel matter,” the Chamber statement reads.