News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 17, 2014

Chamber prez resigns post

Brengle stepping aside after less than 2 years as Commerce head

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — After fewer than two years at the helm, Ken Brengle is leaving the top post at the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber announced late Monday afternoon that Brengle, who became president and CEO of the local business organization in May of 2012, is resigning effective Feb. 28.

“We thank Ken for his service to the organization and wish him well in all his future endeavors,” stated Jeanette Winchester, chairwoman of the Chamber Board of Directors, in a brief news release.

Brengle’s departure was voluntary, Winchester told the Tribune-Star in a later telephone interview. He has long operated his own consulting business, she noted.

Brengle is the principal of Brengle Consulting, established in 2000, according to his LinkedIn page.

The Tribune-Star attempted unsuccessfully to contact Brengle by email late in the day. A cellular telephone number obtained upon his arrival at the Chamber was no longer in use.

Brengle was selected to lead the Chamber in 2012 after a nationwide search to find a new president following the July 2011 departure of Rod Henry, who served as president for 20 years. Brengle came to the organization with reams of chamber experience, mostly out west. He served in leadership capacities at chambers in more than a half-dozen cities, mostly in Colorado but also in Florida and Wyoming. He has also worked in the tourism and economic development fields for non-chamber organizations.

It’s too soon to know how the local Chamber will find a successor to Brengle, Winchester told the Tribune-Star. The Chamber’s executive committee will likely decide how to proceed in the next week to 10 days, she said.

“I wish him well,” Winchester said. Now “I’ll turn my attention to what we need to do next to move the Chamber forward.”

Brengle brought extensive experience about chambers of commerce to his role in Terre Haute, Winchester noted. He also served as president during the Chamber’s 100th Anniversary celebrations last year.

Fortunately for the Chamber, Brengle’s departure comes at a time when the organization is still in the early planning stages of several big events set for later this year, including Small Business Week, the Chamber’s golf outing and the annual dinner in August, Winchester said when asked whether the departure comes at an good or bad time for the organization.

“We have a very strong executive committee,” Winchester said. She also expressed confidence in the Chamber’s “strong staff” to keep things running smoothly.

After Henry’s departure in late July 2011, the Chamber named Bob Quatroche as interim president. Quatroche, formerly an Indiana State University vice president for advancement and executive vice president of the ISU Foundation, was not in the running to replace Henry while he managed the organization.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.