David May, President & CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, has announced his retirement at the end of 2020. May’s retirement will conclude a 40-year career of working for chambers of commerce at the local and national levels.

May was hired by the Fort Collins Area Chamber in April 2003 after the Board of Directors conducted a nationwide search.

“The 17 ½ years in Northern Colorado have been the highlight of my career,” said May. “The region is vibrant and livable. I’m proud of our business community for its support and leadership in helping make this an area we’re all proud to live in.”

“We’ve been fortunate to have David as our leader for so long,” said Nick Haws, Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors. “He has been a tireless advocate for a strong economy and business. The business community and region have benefited tremendously from his leadership. The Chamber’s budget doubled and membership grew during his tenure. We are grateful and wish him the very best in a well-earned retirement.”

With the Fort Collins Area Chamber, May has a reputation for being an unapologetic champion for business and for taking on big regional issues.

“Business is vitally important to communities. That has been made clearer during the government shutdowns for COVID-19,” said May. “Fort Collins has benefited tremendously from a vibrant business community. I remind public officials of that at every opportunity.”

May is known as a leader of the effort to get North I-25 widened and chairs the regional group the Fix North I-25 Business Alliance. Over the past five years, more than $900 million have been committed to improvements on the interstate north of Longmont.

“A lot of people and organizations deserve credit for getting the work started on North I-25,” said May. “This effort has been a showcase of strong leaders in Weld and Larimer counties and great regional cooperation.”

May began his career in 1980 as the Director of Membership and Public Relations for the Independence (Missouri) Chamber of Commerce in suburban Kansas City before being promoted to President at age 27. In 1991, he assumed the role as President & CEO of the Sarasota (FL) Chamber of Commerce. Then in 2000, he was named Vice President of Chamber Relations for the United States Chamber in Washington, DC. (See page 3 for more on May’s career).

While May’s tenure as CEO concludes at the end of the year, he has committed to continue to represent the Chamber on several initiatives until a new leadership team settles in including Fix North I-25, Northern Colorado Prospers and Re-ignite Our Economy.

“Because of his willingness to stay engaged over the short-term on important issues, we anticipate a smooth transition to the new CEO,” said Haws. “Plus, the Chamber has a seasoned executive staff team and a committed board.”

The search for a new President & CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber is now underway.

“The goal is to build on our momentum. We have engaged the services of Waverly Partners to consult on the search process,” said Haws. “When the details are finalized, we’ll post them on the Chamber website and share them through social media.”