A committee consisting of board members from the St. Clair Area Chamber of Commerce is beginning the process of interviewing the top candidates for its executive director position.

Board President Nathan Tate updated Chamber membership on the process during its June meeting this week.

Wednesday was the deadline for applications to be accepted.

“The selection committee will be getting together to start evaluating the resumes,” Tate said. “They will bring in the best candidates for interviews.”

Tate said only a few resumes were submitted. But, he said many of those were impressive.

“We have some decent applicants,” he said. “We didn’t get many resumes, but many of those we did receive were pretty good.”

Hopefully, Tate said, the Chamber’s new executive director will be introduced to the membership at its July meeting.

He also said it remains the goal of the Chamber board to hire someone local, if possible.

“That would be the best thing for everyone all the way around,” he said. “We feel it’s important.”

The past two Chamber directors have not been local and commuted to St. Clair daily.

The hiring process became necessary when former Executive Director Angela Crawford quit without warning late last month. She turned in her resignation during the board’s May meeting and did not provide any notice.

Crawford commuted from Cuba. Many individuals felt she never was invested in the St. Clair community.

Crawford had been the director for about 2 1/2 years.

Tate announced Crawford’s resignation during the Chamber’s May membership meeting. He said it was effective immediately and was unexpected.

“During the course of our monthly board meeting, Angela presented us with her resignation,” Tate told The Missourian earlier this month. “There was no indication she was going to do this. She said she was going to pursue other opportunities that would allow her to directly focus on her career goals and allow her more time with her family outside of work.

“Her resignation came as a surprise,” Tate said, adding that Crawford interrupted the board’s executive session to hand in her resignation.

Crawford’s predecessor, Bob Swank, also did not live in the area and commuted to and from St. Clair for the job.

Tate said the Chamber board is trying to conduct business as usual as best it can at the Chamber and license office. The Chamber oversees the license office and recently was awarded that contract for another four years.

Tate said because of that contract, there are some state stipulations for hiring a Chamber director since he or she also will oversee the license office.

He said anyone with questions or who needs assistance may continue to call or email the office. Messages are being checked daily.