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Cindy CashCindy Cash
Cindy Cash, president and CEO of the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce, will be leaving her position at the end of November, according to chamber officials.
Cash, at the chamber for 20 years, said she has accepted a position in private business. She said she plans to continue living in Kansas City, Kan., and will continue to be involved in the community.
“This is my community, and I care deeply about it and I want to do my part,” she said.
She made her announcement at the chamber’s board meeting Sept. 25.
“Filling Cindy’s shoes will not be easy,” said Todd LaSala, chamber chairman of the board.
“Nobody in this community has worked harder for the benefit of small businesses and business initiatives in this community than Cindy Cash,” he said.
The chamber will appoint an interim president and conduct a national search for a permanent president, according to LaSala.
Cash said she was privileged to have worked with so many wonderful people throughout her time at the chamber.
Cash worked on some major initiatives for Wyandotte County during her tenure as president.
Cash remembered that on her first day as chamber president, Feb. 1, 1993, she had to go to Topeka to lobby Kansas legislators to allow Wyandotte County to have gaming.
“I didn’t really know the way to Topeka that day,” she said.
It was a long process to get gaming approved, and finally, in 2007, legislators allowed casino gaming.
She worked on other major projects including, according to a chamber news release, a chamber study in 1996 regarding the form of government, the attraction and promotion of Kansas Speedway and Village West Tourism District, a Business Education Coalition and partnerships, the creation of the Downtown Shareholders and a Downtown Improvement District, the founding of the Kansas City, Kan., Chamber Foundation, development campaigns for the chamber and the Wyandotte County Economic Development Council, the K-7 Corridor economic impact study and the renovation of the 727 Minnesota Building, where the chamber has had its offices since 1918.
Currently, the chamber has about 650 members, LaSala said. Many are small businesses that had to pull their belts tight during the recession, he said. Now the tide has turned and most are doing well, he added.
“I think like all membership-based organizations, through the recession, we were kind of fighting to hold our own,” he said. “I think our membership will continue to grow as the economy comes back.”
Before coming to the chamber, Cash was the manager of the Indian Springs Shopping Center from May 1988 to January 1993. She was formerly a volunteer with the chamber and with the Wyandotte Economic Development Council.
Cash said when someone leaves it is always an opportunity for an organization to look at things differently and perhaps to blaze new pathways.
LaSala said many of the successes that Kansas City, Kan., has enjoyed during the past 20 years had Cindy’s fingerprints all over them.
“She will be missed and it will be hard to fill this role,” LaSala said.