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Most of Roswell Chamber staff resigns

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Incoming board president: Chamber remains ‘open for business’

Four staff members of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce resigned Thursday for various reasons, but the executive director of the civic and business organization says the chamber is operating and will continue its work in the days ahead.

“Our doors are open. We are here,” said Candace Purcella. “We are not going anywhere, and we will continue to serve our business partners and our local businesses.”

She and incoming board president Andrea Moore said they could not discuss the confidential personnel issues involved. At least some of those who resigned did so by sending emails to board members and ex-officio board members, as well as Purcella.

“We, as a board, are 100% behind Candace,” said Moore. “The board will cooperate with Candace as she hires staff and undertakes the reorganization that we are planning.”

One person who left, Margaret Kennard, formerly the administrative director, has been chosen to fill a vacant seat on the Roswell City Council for a term expiring in March 2022. Her appointment became official with a Roswell City Council vote on Thursday night.

But Purcella indicated that Kennard’s decision and the other staff resignations that day were coincidental.

That was confirmed by Daniel Pruitt, former membership coordinator. He said otherwise he could not comment.

The other two resignations came from Todd “Hobbitt” Verciglio, formerly the marketing and social media director, and Ryan Verciglio, his son, who had been the administrative assistant.

Todd Verciglio also chose not to discuss the matter, while Ryan Verciglio could not be reached by press time.

Purcella and Moore said that the resignations came as a “complete surprise” and occurred while Purcella was out of town at a conference.

The chamber has since hired temporary staff, and Purcella held a meeting Monday to talk with board members. Some ex-officio board members also were included in that meeting, because they had received communications from some of the resigning employees.

Moore said that nothing had been discussed in the resignation notices to the board about changes wanted at the chamber.

Purcella added that the chamber had previously decided to do some staff reorganization and that the resignations will enable that to occur now. But she added that she did not think the planned reorganization was tied to the resignations.

The chamber could experience some “bumps in the road” in the days ahead or cancel some events that are not considered of great significance to the community, Purcella said, but otherwise, she said that she did not think the community or members would experience significant problems.

“If they do, they should contact me directly,” she said. “With the board’s help, I feel very strongly that we are not going to let anything fall through the cracks. We have some great businesses and some great business partners, and I am looking forward to restructuring and to continue to work with our business community.”

Moore reiterated Purcella’s message, as well as the chamber’s Facebook announcement on Tuesday that the organization will continue its work to promote tourism, economic development and business growth.

“The Chamber of Commerce is open for business. We are not shutting our doors,” Moore said. “Our members and our businesses are our first concern.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.