Out of retirement and back as Chamber president -- temporarily
There’s a lot of transition going on for Tom Turnbull, former president of Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, he says.
The Batavia resident’s wife Michelle just retired, their son T.J. graduated from college this year and is working in Buffalo, and now Turnbull is back in the saddle at the chamber — temporarily.
“It’s a temporary interim position just to fill in,” he said Tuesday. “Erik left … I’m filling in the presidential duties.”
Former president Erik Fix’s last day was Friday. He left to assume the role of assistant city manager this week. Although Fix gave notice, it still can take time to assemble a search committee, advertise, interview and hire for the position, Turnbull said.
“So they asked if I'd be willing, and I was kind of flattered, actually,” he said. “I love the staff here. And I mean, they're great to work with. So I said, sure, as long as it was gonna be temporary. So we're kind of ballparking it for three months.”
His life for the next few months will be filled with parades, ribbon-cuttings, a chamber 50th gala celebration, the yearly Ag tour, a Leadership Genesee visit, and business after-hours mixer at The Game of Throes.
“That should be fun,” he said. “That's the type of stuff I always loved about this job. You get to go and do things and see things that you normally wouldn’t.”
He has already broached the topic of grant money and a contract that was just cancelled by Genesee County due to changes in the original proposal and fact that Fix would no longer be at the agency. Turnbull talked with County Manager Matt Landers and was reassured that the branding initiative plan and grant funding can proceed when the details are ironed out and a new president is in place.
“We’ll work with the new president so they’ll be up to speed; we’re the ones to do it,” Turnbull said of the branding initiative. “I love this staff. I mean, they're all talented. They're all professional. I've worked with them before and loved working with them, so it made it a really easy decision to fill in here for the time being.”
He will work approximately 20-25 hours a week and plans to be in the office every weekday.
Turnbull was president for seven years before retiring from his post.