Chamber announces leadership transition

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 10/05/2017

Daudon to remain President and CEO through early 2018; search process for her successor begins

Maud at Annual MeetingToday, Seattle Metro Chamber President and CEO Maud Daudon announced that she is beginning a transition from her role at the Chamber after five years of leading the organization. In a letter to the Chamber’s Board of Trustees, full text of which is below, Daudon shared that she has been working closely with Board leadership to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition, and noted that she intends to stay in her role through early 2018 to ensure a seamless handoff to her successor.

Reflecting on Daudon’s leadership, Board of Trustees Chair Heather Redman said, “Maud has been a visionary and energetic leader for this organization. She positioned the Chamber to be a respected leader that helps shape the conversation around issues at the city, regional and state levels. She brings an insightful voice, creative ideas, and practical problem-solving to all her interactions. Her belief that we can be the metro region that gets it right— through a strong economy, a great quality of life and environment, and not leaving people behind—is one that the Chamber will continue to move forward.”

She added, “The Chamber’s accomplishments under Maud’s leadership are extremely significant and serve as a rock-solid foundation for our region’s continued competitiveness on the global stage. The Chamber team she leads is talented, dynamic, and fully committed to the mission and vision of the organization. The next CEO will be well-positioned to successfully move forward with this team.”

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Dear Seattle Metro Chamber board members and staff,

This morning, I met with the staff at the Chamber and with the Executive Committee to share a plan that I have been working on with board leadership for many months to transition from the Chamber around the beginning of 2018, after a seamless handoff to my successor.

When I began as President and CEO in 2012, there were things I hoped to accomplish with your wonderful leadership and support. Chief among them was positioning the Chamber at the center of issues important to our region, with a vision of achieving sustainable and inclusive prosperity for all. This means creating a great economy, caring for our natural and cultural environment and not leaving anyone behind in the journey. We have made great strides together on this goal, and along the way, we have proactively demonstrated the solutions-oriented mindset business brings to our region’s challenges.

Much of our work over the last five years focused on improving the global competitiveness of this region to position ourselves for success. Recently, we have seen our region’s strengths on display, with tremendous growth in jobs, business creation, and prosperity.  Indeed, our region is thriving as never before, due in part to the Chamber’s commitment to fostering an environment where business can work in partnership with government and other stakeholders to address common challenges and capitalize on opportunities.

I am particularly proud of the progress we have made on:

  • Improving our transportation system, from a major state transportation package, to ST3 passage, to transit and road investments in Seattle; 
  • Developing and supporting a plan to dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing in our city;
  • Creating two proactive initiatives in which employers play a leading role: the Seattle Region Partnership, which focuses on preparing and connecting our local workforce to our region’s pathway jobs, and 100% Talent, which addresses gender pay equity;
  • Activating our grassroots approach to influence city hall policy and represent a broader base of businesses;
  • Building up CASE, our political action committee, to achieve greater political relevance and impact;
  • Making the business case for diversity and inclusion through our advocacy for policies like marriage equality and immigration reform;
  • And most importantly, recruiting and developing the amazing team of energetic, talented, creative, and committed individuals who make up the Chamber staff.

Together, we have positioned the Chamber to be a force for a long time to come—a transformation that is reflected as the Chamber grows in both size and in relevance. I am happy to report that since 2012, membership has grown 11%, member investment has grown 21%, and our Business Health Trust benefits program has grown seven-fold, providing our members access to affordably-priced health insurance and other employee benefits for their workforce.

I believe it is best to transition when things are in great shape, and know now is the time to hand the reins over to the next leader. I am also ready for the next phase of my professional life, and look forward continuing to meaningfully contribute to this community from a new perch. I have been fortunate to provide leadership and service in a variety of roles over the years, and intend to take time to explore how I can be most impactful and helpful after I complete my Chamber service.

I remain fully committed to driving our agenda forward and to assisting the board and search committee to on-board the next President and CEO. Thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve you and this wonderful place we all call home.

Best regards,

Maud
President & CEO
Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce