Following the retirement of longtime Wilmington Chamber CEO Connie Majure-Rhett last month, the organization named an interim CEO on Tuesday.
Effective June 28, Richard Blouse has taken over the top spot. According to a release from the Chamber, Blouse has over 35 years of experience in business and chamber leadership. He most recently served as the president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber for 15 years. Prior to that, he held the same positions at the Greenville, S.C. Chamber of Commerce.
“This is great news for the Wilmington business community,” Wilmington Chamber Board Chairman Mitch Lamm said in a statement to local media. “Mr. Blouse’s unique skillset and proven leadership ability are just what the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce needs to build upon our legacy of success and lead us with innovation into an even greater future.”
During Blouse’s tenure in Detroit, that organization became the largest metropolitan chamber in the country. While in Greenville, he helped bring car manufacturer BMW and many of its suppliers to South Carolina. Blouse is looking to use his experience in business and economic development to boost public, private, domestic and international investments in the Port City.
“Coming to this community to work with such a great team was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Wilmington is a wonderful place that offers an unbeatable quality of life,” said Blouse. “But it’s really much more than that: strong businesses doing exciting work, a talented workforce, and so much opportunity for growth. I look forward to partnering with this business community as we help Wilmington reach its fullest potential.”
Though semi-retired, he still runs his own consulting firm, Global Perspectives LLC, which focuses on economic developments and strategies. Over the next several months, Blouse will be a big part of the search for the Wilmington Chamber’s next full-time president and CEO.