The Lee’s Summit Chamber Board of Directors has announced Dr. Blake Fry as the new president to lead the organization. Fry will succeed Tim Arbeiter, who left the organization on June 15, 2018. Fry currently serves as president of the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau in Hudson, Wis.

The selection process began with the Chamber board of directors appointing a selection task force and facilitator who launched a national search, reviewed all resumes and selected their top choices to interview. The task force ultimately selected the best candidate to recommend to the board. On June 20, board members unanimously approved the hiring of Dr. Fry, who begins his duties on August 15, 2018.

Dr. Blake Fry as the new president

“We were very impressed with Blake’s background of strong leadership roles, as well as his transparency and management skills,” said Rosalie Newkirk, chair of the board. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding in chamber, tourism, economic development, civic engagement and more that will serve as a great foundation to lead our organization forward.”
In his role as president in Hudson, Fry was responsible for the coordination of all organizational activities including programs, membership, employment, training and supervision of staff, long range planning, and total fiscal responsibilities. Prior to joining the Hudson Area Chamber, Fry spent 20 years in a variety of administrative capacities in higher education including government and media relations, economic development, emergency preparedness, and student affairs. He is active in numerous professional and civic organizations and is the current board chair of a six-state association of chamber professionals, Mid-America Chamber Executives.

“Serving as president of the Lee’s Summit Chamber is at the top of a very short list of opportunities that would lead to my leaving Hudson,” Fry said. “I have heard nothing but positive things about the Chamber and the direction of the city from family and friends that live or own businesses in Lee’s Summit. I could not be more excited about becoming part of a community I have visited and admired for decades.”

Fry holds numerous post-secondary degrees including a bachelor’s in political science from Wichita State University, a master’s in education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, an MBA from Avila University, and a doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University. Blake and his wife Michele, a speech pathologist and Independence native, have two children, Abby and Liam.