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Chamber Picks New Prez
Quellhorst Chosen from 6 Finalists

Hieu Pham

Iowa City Press-Citizen

January 27, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright by the Press-Citizen, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.]

After seven months without a president, the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce announced its new leader during a press conference Thursday.

Nancy Quellhorst, vice president of the Environmental Project, was picked from among 45 applicants and six finalists in a nationwide search for the new president. Quellhorst will resign from her position with The Environmental Project following her first day as chamber president on Feb. 6.

"I can't believe how perfect Nancy is for it," said chamber board chair Joan Benson.

Board members had a "clear picture" of the kind of president they wanted, Benson said. Quellhorst's extensive experience working within the community and non-profit organizations and her "quiet style of leadership" put her above other finalists, Benson said.

In addition, Benson said board members weren't in a hurry to select the next president.

"We felt we needed to do some internal work within the chamber ... we wanted to get some of that in place before we went looking," she said.

Quellhorst, 48, is a native of Chicago and has lived in the Iowa City area for the past four years. Before joining the Environmental Project in 2004, Quellhorst worked with the Iowa City office of The Workplace Learning Connection, an organization that organizes work-based learning opportunities for students and educators. She is also a board director for the Cedar Rapids Symphony, Tanager Place, and is an incoming board member of the Iowa City Noon Rotary Club.

"I feel so fortunate to go into this experience surrounded by good people," Quellhorst said about her new position.

Quellhorst said she wanted to increase collaboration with community organizations, but she said she planned to "do a lot of listening" before making any changes.

"It's not without challenges, but I feel good about my role with a lot of other organizations and the chamber," she said.