Greater Louisville Inc. CEO Craig Richard expected to resign - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Greater Louisville Inc. CEO Craig Richard expected to resign

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Greater Louisville Inc. President and CEO Craig Richard has been asked to resign and is expected to do so sometime before the chamber of commerce's annual meeting on Feb. 18, a source close to the matter told WDRB.com.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said a leadership change has been brewing at GLI for about two months. The person declined to talk about the reasons for the imminent change, which comes only a year after Richard began the job.

Richard has been on paid leave since Monday, said Kerry Stemler, chairman of GLI's 19-member executive committee, on Friday. Richard requested to go on leave for "personal reasons," Stemler said.

Richard has not resigned, Stemler said. Stemler declined to say anything about Richard's future with GLI.

"I can't comment on that; I don't think I need to or should have to," he said.

Stemler also declined to say whether he thinks Richard is doing a good job as CEO.

"I have a lot of respect for Craig and I'll leave it at that," he said.

Richard did not return a call to his apparent cell phone number, an email to his GLI account nor a message through his LinkedIn page on Friday. 

The executive committee led by Stemler has responsibility for the hiring and firing of GLI's chief executive.  

Mayor Greg Fischer's spokesman, Chris Poynter, declined to comment on Richard's status. Fischer is a member of GLI's executive committee. 

Richard, who had vice president at the chamber of commerce in Houston, started his role with GLI in January 2013. He replaced Joe Reagan, who left in late 2011 to become CEO of the chamber in St. Louis.

In October, Richard terminated eight staff members – many from the organization's most senior ranks – and another two resigned as GLI struggled with financial issues. Richard said the layoffs were necessary to streamline GLI's focus on economic development and shore up its finances.

Among those who left the organization were Eileen Pickett, vice president of economic development; Tracee Troutt, chief administrative officer and Carmen Hickerson, vice president of public affairs.

In November, GLI disclosed through its annual tax filing that the organization spent $890,364 more than it took in during 2012 – the year between Reagan's departure and Richard's arrival – as GLI's revenue declined from $8.4 million in 2011 to $7.6 million in 2012.

Earlier this month, Business First reported that GLI was far behind track in reaching its annual fundraising goal.

In addition to traditional chamber functions like representing area businesses, GLI plays the lead role in attracting company relocations and expansions in Louisville through a contract of about $1 million annually with Metro government.

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