Bob Chappelle

Bob Chappelle 

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce has begun a nationwide search for a new president and chief executive officer, according to a news release.

A nine-member search team was formed and comprised of former chamber chairs as well as area elected and business leaders. The members include: Liz Freeman, Long’s Human Resource Services; Terry Harbin, Affordable Homes Gulf Coast LLC; Abe Harper, Harper Technologies LLC; Frank Lott, Heritage Homes; Merceria Ludgood, Mobile County Commission President; Harris Morrissette, China Doll Rice and Beans Inc.; Patrick Murphy, Alabama Power Co.; Richard Stimpson, Leavell Investment Management Inc.; and Matt White, White-Spunner Realty Inc.

Harbin, who is also the chamber’s current board chair, was elected chairman of the search team. The group is in discussions with four national search firms that are knowledgeable of chambers of commerce. The group will select a firm to lead the search effort to replace current chamber president and CEO William B. Sisson, who is resigning effective Friday, to begin working in international economic development consulting.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to lead and expand a chamber of commerce that is committed to the success of the Mobile area,” Harbin said. “The Mobile chamber plays a key role in retaining existing businesses in our community, assisting companies with their expansions and working to attract new businesses to our market. The chamber enjoys solid member relations and an excellent reputation with key organizations on the local, state and national levels.

“Our next president and CEO will inherit a talented and dedicated Chamber staff and a committed board of directors,” Harbin said. “This position represents a leadership opportunity to bring the chamber to ‘the next level’ and help shape the Mobile area for years to come.

The executive committee for the chamber’s board of directors named Bob Chappelle interim president and CEO. Chappelle joined the chamber staff in March 2001 as executive vice president, and was later promoted to chief operating officer. He previously has served interim roles in economic development, small business development and community and governmental affairs.  

“I’m delighted that Bob Chappelle will serve as the chamber’s interim president and CEO,” Harbin continued. “With more than 20 years with the Mobile Area Chamber, Bob has earned the full support of our staff, board and business community. He also has the institutional knowledge needed to continue our program of work to ensure a smooth transition until a new president is named.”

Chappelle serves on the board of the Downtown Mobile Alliance and on the Mobile Human Relations Commission. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Mobile and presently serves as the Club’s permanent secretary.  He is a graduate of Leadership Alabama, Leadership Mobile and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama. He earned a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation, which is the only national certification for Chamber professionals, from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2008.

Those interested in applying for the president and CEO position should email their cover letter and resume to


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