Jerry Bustamante, president and chief executive officer of the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce for seven years, has resigned his position to take a similar job in Chandler.
His last day at the local chamber is May 15. Bustamante starts his new job in Chandler on May 19.
“It was an opportunity that I could not walk away from,” Bustamante said Tuesday. “It is a tremendous professional opportunity for me.”
The Chandler Chamber of Commerce has 1,500 members, and “Chandler is just a great community,” Bustamante said. “The chamber’s program of work is very similar to the one I’ve developed here, so it’s a good fit.”
Paul Kappelman, chairman of the NPCCC board of directors, said the organization accepted Bustamante’s resignation with “mixed emotions” last week.
“He’s an extremely talented person. We knew someday he may move on to bigger things,” Kappelman said. “We’re happy for him, because it’s a good opportunity with a larger chamber, and a good opportunity for his family. Obviously, we’re sad to see him leave.”
Roz Santangelo, president of the Chandler chamber board, said her organization is “so thrilled” to have Bustamante. “This was a highly sought after position, which gave us the opportunity to pick the ideal candidate.”
Timing is a factor for Bustamante. He and his wife Cindy have four children, the oldest of whom is graduating from Mountain View High School next month. Their other children are younger. “I never wanted to relocate during the middle of my kid being in high school,” he said.
It’s not an easy decision to leave. “You kidding me? We love it here, and it’s hard to leave,” Bustamante said. “I’m not leaving for greener pastures. This is as good as it gets. I’m just leaving for a larger pasture that’s going to allow me to continue to grow as a chamber of commerce executive.”