Business group names new director
January 21, 2013
WEXFORD — THE CHAMBER of Commerce has named its new executive director to replace Susan Balla when she leaves Feb. 15. Rebecca Martin is the new director, coming from Austin, Texas, where she was senior vice president of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce for nearly three years, according to a LinkedIn account in her name. Martin, who will begin her new post on Feb. 1, wasn’t available for comment. In her post, she was part of the executive team in Central Texas for economic development, infrastructure, technology, education and workforce development, and business attraction. Before that, Martin was the president and CEO of the Ludington & Scottville (Mich.) Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau from 2007 to 2008 and vice president, chamber division of the Erie (Pa.) Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership from 1997 to 2003. She had worked as the director of marketing, communications and government relations for Erie-Western PA Port Authority, served as an administrative officer in the Erie County (Pa.) Executive’s office, a teacher for the Mercyhurst Preparatory School and a public relations officer at Gannon University. She was on the Erie City School Board for four years, where she served as president and vice president during her tenure from 2003 to 2007. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Mercyhurst College and a master’s degree in English from Gannon University. Martin will spend two weeks with Balla to help ease the transition of leadership. Balla has been executive director for three years, serving during the merger of The Cranberry Area and the Northern Allegheny chambers of commerce into THE CHAMBER in January 2010. Martin was chosen after a national search of more than 180 candidates. “I’m impressed with her qualifications. She (Martin) had the personality that will work well with our members,” said board chair elect Jim Boltz of Minutemen Press in Cranberry Township. “She came highly recommended.” Boltz said Martin’s qualifications and experience separated her from the other candidates. “We talked about a number of scenarios for our future, and we absolutely feel she’s the one to lead us into the future,” he said. Martin is a native of Pennsylvania with family in the Pittsburgh area.