ACRA president steps down
June 14, 2005
Hana Pevny has resigned as president and CEO of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association after three years on the job.”I think it was a great opportunity, but I had an opportunity come my way, and it’s important for me to pursue it to move to the next level of my career,” Pevny said. She wouldn’t specify about her new job but said she’ll be staying in Aspen.Pevny is credited with bringing the chamber out of financial straits over the last three years, said Rick Jones, chairman of ACRA’s board of directors. The chamber was $55,000 in debt when she took over, Pevny said.
“We’re a nonprofit, but we have had a positive net income balance at the end of the last three years – a lot of people don’t remember, but a while ago, we had some financial problems,” Jones said.Pevny’s last day has not been determined yet because she agreed to stay on during the transition to new leadership. Chamber board members Stan Clauson and Don Sheeley will lead the search committee to find a replacement.Jones jokingly said the chamber would be looking for someone who can please everyone, while noting that it’s impossible to make everyone in Aspen happy, including the chamber’s own membership. One or two people might smile upon hearing news of Pevny’s departure, he said.”Hana’s a very hard-charging business woman, and some people had difficulty dealing with that type of personality,” he said.
Pevny, who has lived in Aspen for seven years, previously worked in sales and marketing in information technology for companies including Cisco Systems and Wang Laboratories. She began working with ACRA during spring 2002 and faced marketing a resort community in the post-Sept. 11 economy.Although Pevny said she did help bring financial stability to the organization by raising revenue and increasing membership, ACRA still faces a frustrating shortfall in marketing dollars.”We still don’t have the amount of money to properly market a resort community with the brand name that we have – we just don’t have that budget,” she said.Pevny advocates a dedicated sales tax that would go into the chamber’s marketing fund, but she said that movement hasn’t gotten past the chamber’s marketing advisory level. “It’ll be a challenge for my successor, figuring out how to work with the community to raise more marketing funds,” she said.
Jones said ACRA will next be working on a three-year strategic plan, allowing the new president to help determine where the organization should be in the next several years.”I don’t see any problem areas right now, other than finding a new president,” he said. “I think that’s one of the great things about Hana is that she’s leaving the organization in great shape right now. It should be smooth sailing.”Pevny said she hopes to remain active in the community as a board member for The Buddy Program and the Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org