BOLINGBROOK – After 17 months leading the Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce, Michael Carpanzano is leaving his post to return to the private sector.
Carpanzano, viewed by many as an up-and-comer in the community since taking over the chamber's top spot at just 26 years old, is leaving the chamber's administration to become regional director of sales with Will County-based physical therapy practice PT Solutions.
He announced the news during the Bolingbrook Chamber's August luncheon on Thursday morning.
"It was a tough day, but everyone has been extremely nice with their well wishes and phone calls," Carpanzano said Thursday afternoon. In a news release, he called his tenure "one of the best experiences of my lifetime."
The impending move to PT Solutions was born through relationships he built while serving as the chamber director.
"I worked very closely with [PT Solutions]. Relationships had formed and they made me an offer," Carpanzano said. "On a personal side, I just got engaged last year, and we are planning a wedding. And then there are the benefits that come in the private sector. ... It's an opportunity I couldn't not take."
Prior to accepting the chamber director position in March 2013, Carpanzano worked for MB Financial Bank for eight years, ascending from an entry-level customer service associate to assistant vice president/banking center manager.
Carpanzano, now 28, said he'll remain a member of the chamber, as PT Solutions is a member of the Bolingbrook Chamber.
"It definitely will be different," he said. "But I will continue to attend chamber functions. It will just be with a private company."
His resignation is effective Oct. 17. He said he wants to give the chamber ample time to find a replacement.
"I know it's a daunting process to fill the executive director position so I wanted to give the chamber as much time as possible, and PT Solutions not only understood that but they wanted me to do that," Carpanzano said.
Looking back, he said he's most proud of the energy he brought to the 600-member chamber of commerce.
"The biggest thing I've heard from the chamber is they're worried they'll lose the energy I brought, and I am proud of that. I think that energy helped motivate all our business leaders and in turn helped them with their customers," he said.
Carpanzano’s accomplishments include "radically increasing the chambers communication reach to businesses, residents and government through email marketing, social media and the chamber’s new visibility at community and local non-profit events," according to a news release. "In addition, member engagement and retention grew as he believed in home-based businesses and entrepreneurs just as much as he did large scale corporations."
“Michael has done good things for our chamber,” Mir Ali, chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, stated in the news release. "During his time as executive director, Carpanzano has been an advocate for businesses of all sizes spurring economic growth in Bolingbrook while cultivating vital relationships throughout the region. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
As for his eventual replacement, he called the position "the opportunity of a lifetime."
"Between the resources you have, the knowledge you gain and the centers of influence you meet in this position – the role is priceless," he said. "You really can't replicate it at any company."
A search committee is currently being formed and the process to find Carpanzano’s replacement will begin immediately, according to the chamber. Application information will be posted on the chamber’s website next week as well as other outlets.