The Board of Directors of the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that Tom Hanafan has been hired as its interim president and chief executive officer. Hanafan will begin his chamber duties July 1.
Hanafan served as mayor of Council Bluffs for 25 years, after which he served as a member of the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors.
He will serve as the interim CEO while the Chamber seeks to permanently replace the position most recently held by President and CEO Dan Koenig, who announced last week his intention to pursue other opportunities.
Hanafan has been recognized by countless community organizations and continues to be active in Council Bluffs in his retirement.
“The Chamber of Commerce is at a pivotal transition period, and the board wanted to find an interim leader who could provide some stability to our organization and continue to serve and support the business community of Council Bluffs; Tom Hanafan was an easy choice to fill that leadership role,” said Don Kohler, vice president of marketing and public relations at Iowa Western Community College and chairman of the Chamber Board.
Hanafan, a lifelong Council Bluffs resident, said he looks forward to serving the community again in his interim role at the chamber.
“Clearly, the Chamber of Commerce has always played a key role in the development of our great city,” he said. “I am going to work hard to help the chamber board and its membership during this transition.”
Hanafan said he signed a contract to serve as interim CEO through the first of the year, “but I’m not interested in the position on a full-time basis.”
“For me, this is a great opportunity to help and fill in during this transitional time at the chamber,” he said. “I think it’s going to be fun to work with the chamber’s seasoned staff and board members to promote what I consider a great city.”
Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said he thought the selection of Hanafan is “a good short-term solution” for the Chamber.
He added that he hopes the Chamber moves forward with a permanent CEO selection “quickly.”
“Tom has good connections in the community,” Walsh said. “It’s a good thing he is willing to step in.”