Carson retiring from leadership role at Cleveland chamber

The Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce announced the retirement of Chief Operating Officer Jim Carson on Thursday, Sept. 23. Carson has held the position for the last six years.

After six years as chief operating officer for the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Jim Carson is retiring. He cites a desire to spend more time with his wife, Christina, and to promote his own ceramics business as reasons for giving up the Chamber post. His last day will be Dec. 16.

“During his six-year contract, Jim played an essential role in reestablishing the Chamber, both financially and operationally,” according to a statement from the Chamber board.

Carson first joined the Chamber in 2012 as owner of Coffee News, a business he later sold. He served on the board of directors from 2014-2015, and took over running the Chamber as COO in 2015.

“He has worked well with each year’s board of directors, and his diverse background has benefited the Chamber is many positive ways. Because of his leadership and focus, the financial status of the Chamber is in a significantly better position than when he was hired in 2015, and he has helped initiate several positive changes within the organization,” the Board statement reads.

Over the last six years and with Carson’s leadership, Chamber membership has increased membership by 45 percent. Carson believes Board members deserve much of the credit.

“The big reason for our successes is we have a really supportive board that works well together,” said Carson. “My motto with the board has always been that being on the board isn’t a resume builder. This is a working board. All of the board members serve on committees with many chairing committees.”

The board of directors will be looking to fill the position with an interim until a permanent COO is selected. The Chamber plans to honor Carson at one of the upcoming monthly membership luncheons.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. Hate to hear Jim is retiring. His laser focus on problems and wealth of business management experience saved the chamber from almost certain financial collapse a few years back. He has been instrumental in creating several new annual events for the citizens of the City Of Cleveland to enjoy for years to come. He has attended most meetings of every kind and promoted the chamber and its sponsored events. He will be greatly missed and and hard to replace. I do wish him the best in retirement as he has earned the right to slow down.

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