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The Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce announced the sudden resignation of its five-year president.
Chris Russell has stepped down "due to personal reasons," according to a news release. Ashley Johnson, vice president of membership, has been named interim chamber president effective immediately.
"In the past five years, Chris has been instrumental in growing membership, and we wish Chris the very best," officials said in the release.
Russell additionally issued a statement to Springfield Business Journal about his departure.
"I love Nixa! All is well, I promise, I just need to focus on my life and the close personal relationships in my life,” the statement reads. “I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish as a community and will continue to work behind the scenes. I promise!”
The organization last year ranked No. 3 on Springfield Business Journal's list of the area's largest chambers of commerce. The Nixa chamber reported 561 members and an operating budget of $490,000. Past list research shows the Nixa chamber reported 425 members in 2017 and 473 in 2018.
The Nixa chamber this month received final approvals from the city to move into its new office and welcome center at 902 W. Mount Vernon St., according to a Facebook post. The chamber since 2017 has operated at 106 W. Sherman Way in the Nixa Plaza Shopping Center.
The chamber, which organizes events such as the annual Nixie Awards celebration, in 2021 brought back the Nixpo Business and Community Expo, its biggest annual business event that was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to past reporting.
Russell has past experience as a Nixa City Council member and as a team leader for Keller Williams in Illinois and marketing director for Hogan Land Title Co. in Springfield, according to his LinkedIn profile.
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