The Norman Alliance is a newly created umbrella organization that brings together traditional chamber and economic development activities to create a synergistic organization to more effectively serve the Norman, Oklahoma community. The Alliance will be led by a President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and governed by a 15-member Board in a shared governance structure and strategically combines two existing organizations that have served the Norman community for many years. The aligning organizations include:
Norman Chamber of Commerce: Celebrating its 100th year in 2020, the Norman Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”) is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization with over 1,550 members ranging in size from small business to large corporations, from nonprofit agencies to higher education institutions. Website: www.normanchamber.com
Norman Economic Development Coalition: Founded in 1996, the Norman Economic Development Coalition (“NEDC”) is a 501(c)6 public-private partnership of the University of Oklahoma, City of Norman, Moore Norman Technology Center and the Norman Chamber’s Sooner Centurions. The organization is involved with business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship and working with site selectors. Website: www.selectnorman.com.
It is expected that the alignment of traditional chamber and economic development activities, staffing, planning and budgeting will deliver more to the Norman community than with these organizations working separately. As a result, the newly constituted Norman Alliance Board has formed a Search Committee and embarked on a national search to recruit a new President & Chief Executive Officer who will guide this new alignment and the important business leadership and economic development activities within the Norman and Cleveland County region for years to come.
Norman is the third largest city in Oklahoma, with a population of 120,000 and effectively combines the benefits of living in a smaller town with proximity to large metropolitan market. Home to the University of Oklahoma, Norman is a major research university community located on the southern edge of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area of 1.2 million and 200 miles north of Dallas. Norman’s diverse economy include higher education, healthcare, medical device, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, transportation/logistics, software development. The community has also carved a unique niche in the weather service and radar space and is home to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) and the National Weather Center. Major employers include the University of Oklahoma, Norman Regional Hospital, Norman Public Schools, Johnson Controls, Riverwind Casinos, U.S. Postal Service National Training Center, Hitachi and SYSCO Food Services.
President & CEO is responsible for the full range of activities of the Norman Alliance including: coordination of the program of work for chamber and economic development efforts; organizational structure and procedures; motivation of volunteers; income and expenditures; maintenance/growth of membership and investors; fiscal management; employment, training and supervision of staff; interpretation of policy. This executive reports to the Norman Alliance Board of Directors which will meet monthly and will also work closely with a 30+ member Chamber Advisory Board which will focus on Chamber programs and events. The CEO will supervise a lead chamber executive and a lead economic development executive. Other staff will include individuals responsible for operations, marketing and communications, membership, community development and government affairs, leadership programs and administrative services; a total staff of 10. Important interactions include: owners/executives and employees of member and investor organizations in Norman; local, county, state and national elected officials and their staffs; representatives of other public and private sector partnership organizations in the region; officials from higher education institutions; State of Oklahoma economic development professionals; site selectors and other economic development consultants; representatives of target and prospect organizations; members of the media.
Outstanding opportunity for a chamber of commerce, economic development or perhaps private sector executive to align two successful business-focused entities into one significant organization that will be more impactful than the sum of its parts. Both the Norman Chamber and the Norman Economic Development Coalition enjoy solid reputations in the region’s business sector yet together can serve as an important catalyst and leading voice in the area. The new CEO will inherit an experienced and engaged staff team, committed Board members and strong volunteer base. In addition, a number of community, education and business leaders have recently assumed their roles including Interim OU President, Moore Norman Technology Center Superintendent, City Manager and Mayor. Together, all constituents are looking to support another new leader in the community who will accept this exciting opportunity to fully integrate the efforts of the Chamber and NEDC and guide the Norman area to new levels of success.
Ideal candidate is currently serving as the top executive of a comparable Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development or related significant association or business development-focused organization with a proven track record of success. Alternative experience includes serving as “#2” or another senior-level executive at a larger enterprise as noted above, or as an executive from a complex private or public sector entity. If not the top executive today, then demonstrated experience working with a Board to develop and implement strategic and operational plans is required. It is expected the successful candidate will bring at least 10 years of progressively responsible leadership experience. A Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is preferred; economic development certification desired.
About Norman (OK) Alliance c/o Waverly Partners
WAVERLY PARTNERS is a national retained executive search firm with consultants located in Atlanta, Charlottesville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Greenwich, Kansas City and Toledo. We have been designated as the only "preferred provider" of executive search services by ACCE. WAVERLY PARTNERS is a generalist search firm, serving nationwide clients including chambers of commerce, economic development and other nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, Fortune 1000 service and manufacturing corporations, privately held entrepreneurial growth companies, hospitals and healthcare organizations, and professional service firms.