Executive Director Breisch leaving Batavia Chamber

Published: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 10:28 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 7:29 a.m. CDT
(Sean King – For Shaw Media)
Roger Breisch reads to the audience at Water Street Studios in Batavia in September. Breisch, the executive director of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, announced Thursday that he is leaving the organization.

BATAVIA – After almost 10 years of heading the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, Roger Breisch said he is ready for a new direction in his life.

Breisch on Thursday announced his resignation as executive director. His resignation is effective Jan. 31, the same day the Batavia Chamber of Commerce will present its annual Batavia Citizen of the Year award and Ole business awards.

Breisch has been with the chamber since July 2004.

"It's just time," he said. "For a whole lot of reasons. Chambers constantly need to be reinvented, and I'm not sure I'm the right guy for that. So I'm giving the board the opportunity to cast the net, and see who is out there that might have a new vision."

Breisch said chambers of commerce need to constantly ask the question, "what does it mean to be the voice of business?"

"I think we've reinvented the chamber here over the last 10 years," Breisch said. "It's a very different organization now than it was 10 years ago. But you can't stop reinventing yourself."

Breisch said he is proud of the fact that membership in the chamber has increased in his tenure.

"Owners of very large businesses and owners in general now regularly participate in the chamber," Breisch said. "And from the industrial park, we have very senior business leaders now who give credence and credibility to the Batavia Chamber of Commerce. It is an organization that does have a strong voice in the community."

The chamber currently has about 300 members, he said.
Breisch has been getting involved in Batavia ever since he moved to the city in 1989. His other activities have included being the chairman of the Batavia Fireworks Committee for 17 years.

Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke lauded Breisch's contributions to the city.

"He's brought a visionary drive to the job," Schielke said. "He has been a driving force on the whole idea of downtown redevelopment and strengthening the city's industrial base. He has helped us see wider horizons."BATAVIA – Roger Breisch is leaving the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, the organization's longtime executive director announced Thursday in a letter received by media via email.

In the email, Breisch wrote his resignation will be effective Jan. 31, and that his tenure at the chamber will be "a few months shy of 10 years."

"It has been a marvelous journey," Breisch wrote. "The directors with whom I have had the pleasure to work have been supportive, creative, dedicated and passionate. The chamber is in excellent hands. I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had to mold the chamber and influence the larger community in which it resides."

Breisch wrote that by waiting until the end of January, he can ensure that the chamber's new website and Citizen of the Year event, "Inspire 2014," will have been completed.

Breisch wrote that "it is clear for that, for me, the journey of my life is in a new direction."

"I believe the art of all arts is the way we move through this thing we call life. … This juncture is just one more brush stroke … one more note," Breisch wrote.