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Our View: New Chamber leader will tackle critical role: advocacy

The Woodbury Chamber of Commerce has found its new boss.

Her name is Barbara Tuccitto Warren, and she's the subject of a Page 1A profile in this week's edition. A fuller scope of her vision for the Chamber now revealed, we're happy to extend our congratulations on her hire - and a salute to the chamber's board of directors for tapping Tuccitto Warren.

Tuccitto Warren takes the helm at the Chamber following the departure of her predecessor, Travis Martinson, who left to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. We wish Martinson well on her new pursuits. She was the first executive director in the Chamber's history and her hard work in cultivating the business-advocacy organization's growth is appreciated.

So who is Tuccitto Warren? She's an experienced business executive with a long history of involvement with other chambers of commerce. Her background includes work as a private consultant for the state of Minnesota and governmental agencies - an element Woodbury's business community should find encouraging. That's because Tuccitto Warren says she intends to be a policy advocate at the state and federal level.

There are many aspects vital to chamber leadership, and advocacy can be a critical component. We commend Tuccitto Warren on what she says will be an effort to strengthen that element at the Woodbury Chamber. Businesses face challenges that are often battled out in the Legislature. It's an area that can always be strengthened, and for local firms to know they have an advocate in Tuccitto Warren should provide a measure of confidence that their best interests are being defended.

Meanwhile, Tuccitto Warren has already implemented an analytical approach to measure the Chamber's operations - what's working well and what could use a boost. The board was wise in landing someone who's also comfortable managing the organization's books.

Last year included some bumps in the road for the Chamber. Besides losing Martinson, the organization also saw former Membership Director Kim Snyder move on. Left with two considerable holes to fill, the organization was faced with an uphill battle. We credit board leadership for taking the careful steps to maintain stability by hiring Tuccitto Warren and Snyder's successor, Heidi Hickey.

So far, the transition has appeared seamless; the annual Chamber gala went off last month without a hitch and plans for the Woodbury Community Expo - an event organized by the Chamber - are cruising along.

We wish Tuccitto Warren and the Woodbury Chamber a successful 2013 and beyond.