HARTFORD - Barb Laabs has resigned after five years as
executive director of the Hartford Area Chamber of
Laabs said her last day in the office will be May 7.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute here, but I just think it’s
time to do something different,” Laabs said. “I need a
Laabs will become the director of marketing for
Richelieu Foods in Beaver Dam.
“This is bittersweet really because I’ve loved working
here and working with all of the different people and
organizations. I’ve had some incredible conversations
and experiences with many different people,” Laabs said.
“But it’s time to start a new chapter in my life.”
Laabs said she’s proud of the many things the chamber
has accomplished since she began as director. One was
the chamber’s move to a new, more prominent location.
“We’ve had some really great events, the After Hours
programs and many other things,” Laabs said. “I feel
really good about the chamber’s future.”
Laabs said she will continue to stop, live and play in
Hartford and the surrounding community. Now she said
it’s up to the chamber board to start the process and
select someone to succeed her.
“The board has already been discussing the process,”
Chamber Board of Directors President Jason Wix said
Laabs will be missed and accomplished a great deal in
her five years as director.
“It’s difficult to lose someone with her experience and
skills,” Wix said. “We just hired an assistant for the
office only about 60 days ago and there will be a void
with Barb gone. We’ve already started working toward
filling her position.”
Wix said chamber officials hope to fill the job quickly,
but they’ll take as long as needed to find the right
“We’ve already put out feelers to possible candidates we
might be interested in,” Wix said. “We’ve already
received one resume and we are going to post the job
Wix said the chamber has already had discussions with a
firm that could aid them in the new director search.
“It’s hard to see Barb go, but she wants to have as
smooth a transition as possible,” Wix said. “She’s
willing to help us in any way to ease through the
situation. I’m confident we’ll find the right person who
will be a good fit.”
Laabs has worked for 27 years in the chamber of commerce
field including time at the West Bend Area Chamber of