It could be the most long-range succession plan in the history of Chambers of Commerce.
Randy Gordon became president and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in 1994. He’s still in that position today, with a seven-year contract that runs into 2020. He has said he plans to retire at the end of that contract to spend more time with his grandchildren.
So the chamber board has looked ahead and chosen its next leader — Jeremy Harris, currently senior vice president at the Long Beach chamber. A contract was offered and signed in June. Gordon handpicked Harris to take the reins.
“When I hired Jeremy four years ago, I saw it as a seven-year succession plan,” Gordon said. “He’s already one of the top chamber executives in the state — other chambers were going to be coming after him … It (asking to sign a contract with Harris) didn’t surprise anyone. We were looking to save him for Long Beach.”
Harris went to college at Cal State Long Beach and worked on the political campaigns of Frank Colonna, a former councilman. He partnered with Shaun Lumachi when Lumachi created the Chamber Advocacy business. (Lumachi had been a Long Beach chamber vice president and continued as a consultant until his death in 2011 in a car accident.)
Harris became president and CEO of the Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce in 2011, keeping in touch with Gordon, whom he had worked with as a Chamber Advocacy consultant.
“Randy served as a mentor of mine due to our previous relationship when the Long Beach Area Chamber was a client,” Harris said. “After a couple of short years, he wooed me from Garden Grove to take the first…
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