Davis to leave post as Port Townsend chamber director, disputes resignation

By Erik Hidle
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND -- Roderick Davis, executive director of the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce, is leaving his position just short of six months on the job.

The official announcement from the board is that Davis has resigned; however, Davis is disputing that.

"The Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Rod Davis, the chamber's executive director," said Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce President Ryan Anderson in a statement.

"Mr. Davis stated personal reasons for his departure."

Davis said that is incorrect.

"I did not resign. I have not resigned," Davis said.

"I do not agree with the information in the press release, and at this point, I have nothing else to say."

Anderson said he was surprised by the response from Davis. Anderson said Davis was not fired but elected not to comment further on the situation.

The one thing both agree on is that Davis' last day will be Friday.

Davis was announced as the chamber board of directors selection for the job on Aug. 28, 2008. He officially began working as the top administrator Oct. 1.

His official final day will be March 20.

Davis came to Port Townsend from Moses Lake with 15 years of chamber of commerce experience across the country, in Putnam County, W.Va.; Chula Vista, Calif.; and Hermiston, Ore.

In Moses Lake, he served as a business consultant after leaving his Hermiston position for personal reasons.

He also served in the Navy for 20 years and retired as a commander in 1989.

In Port Townsend, Davis succeeded Tim Caldwell, who resigned after 16 years to accept a Port Townsend office manager position with Puget Sound Energy.

During his time at the chamber, Davis helped move the chamber offices into a new facility at the Haines Street Park and Ride and helped establish a wireless hot spot in the same area.

Davis also created an E-lert system, providing business owners with information on forged checks circulating in the area.

In an interview in October, Davis said he planned to introduce a program that would forecast the number of visitors to the town, a mystery shopper program, increased visitor feedback, visitor appreciation programs and advertising methods for the community.

Davis also said he intended to get a wireless cloud encompassing Port Townsend in place by May of this year.

Those plans will now have to wait for the next director.

Jennifer MacGillonie, a member of the chamber's executive board, has accepted the position of interim director until a permanent replacement is hired, Anderson's statement said.

"She was the Port Townsend 2005 Business Leader of the Year and the 2007 Chamber of Commerce president," the statement said.

"Jennifer resigned her position on the chamber's executive board before accepting the position as interim director."

Anderson said a search for a permanent executive director is scheduled to begin soon.

Kris Nelson, vice president of the chamber board, said MacGillonie was the right pick for the interim role.

"We need someone starting Monday," Nelson said.

"She is by far the most qualified person.

"She knows all bookkeeping and all the inner workings of the chamber."

Reporter Erik Hidle can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at erik.hidle@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 19. 2009 4:42AM
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