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Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC announces new president and CEO

Ryan Unger. PHOTO/PROVIDED

The leader of Harrisburg nonprofit Team Pennsylvania will take over as CEO and president of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC when David Black retires at the end of June.

The Chamber & CREDC announced on Wednesday that Ryan Unger, president and CEO of Team Pennsylvania Foundation, will assume Black’s role effective July 1.

The announcement comes after a national search that the Chamber & CREDC began soon after Black announced his retirement in December 2020. The search conducted a dozen stakeholder sessions and convened over 100 people when deciding what qualities were needed an ideal candidate, said Ben Dunlap, co-chair of the chamber’s search committee.

“The search generated 125 applications from the region and across the country,” said Dunlap. “Our committee arrived at a decision after three rounds of interviews. It was very clear to all of us that Ryan’s enthusiasm and expertise is just what we were looking for.”

Unger was chosen for the leadership role for a number of reasons, including his passion for the midstate and his background in government advocacy, economic development and community organizations, said Meron Yemane, Chamber board chair and member of the search committee.

Unger joined Team Pennsylvania as its director of policy and programs in 2011 and was appointed president and CEO in late 2015.

Team Pennsylvania is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit that connects private and public sector leaders to improve the state’s competitiveness and economic prosperity.

During his time at Team Pennsylvania, Unger assisted with the creation of nationally recognized policy and state-level strategy documents and reports from topics ranging from Marcellus Shale development to manufacturing.

He also helped the organization form a public-private partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to support the state’s agricultural economic development efforts.

An Elizabethtown College alumnus, Unger previously worked in regional economic and community development at SEDA-Council of Governments in Lewisburg and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce in Shamokin Dam.

David Black has been the president and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC sinc 2001. PHOTO/PROVIDED

“Chambers are key connectors in our communities, and I’m excited to step into this role at a time when connection is vitally important,” Unger said. “I’m grateful to the business community for trusting me to lead this incredible organization, and I look forward to working with our inspiring members and board to continue building an organization where people feel comfortable coming to create meaningful change and tackle challenges. We’ll work to make sure everyone in our region is proud to call this home.”

Black will leave the chamber after 20 years as its president and CEO. Yemane said that he and the board are confident that Unger will continue where Black left off in his commitment to the region and its business community.

“We are confident that Ryan will build on the momentum of Dave’s leadership and further advance the Chamber & CREDC as a catalyst for job creation, policy change and economic growth that not only enhances the quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties, but also makes our region inclusive and equitable for all,” he said.

Ioannis Pashakis
Ioannis Pashakis is the Central Penn Business Journal's assistant editor. Email him at [email protected].