Ann Silver named CEO of The Chamber of Commerce, Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada
November 21, 2016
Ann Silver, who has served for several nonprofit organizations in northern Nevada, was named chief executive officer of The Chamber of Commerce, Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada.
Silver replaces longtime CEO Len Stevens, who is retiring after 14 years in the role. Silver’s tenure officially begins on December 7.
(Stevens conducted a Q&A with NNBW back in February. For an excerpt to the story, click here)
In a phone interview with NNBW, Silver said she believes The Chamber will play a vital role in various capacities as the region’s economy continues to grow.
“Ninety-five percent of small businesses don’t have the infrastructure that large businesses have. We want to give them the opportunity to grow with a plethora of available resources.”Ann SilverIncoming CEO The Chamber of Commerce, Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada
She stressed The Chamber needs to ‘revitalize’ its brand by providing relevant benefits to current and prospective members. Silver, who has a background in executive positions and human resources management, wants the organization to be proactive with educational resources for chamber members both large and small. She feels this is especially essential with uncertainly revolving around the administration change from President Barack Obama to President-elect Donald Trump.
“With my experience in business and working in human resources, it’s very important for companies to keep current with changes in state and federal laws,” Silver said. “Ninety-five percent of small businesses don’t have the infrastructure that large businesses have. We want to give them the opportunity to grow with a plethora of available resources.”
To help make these possible she wants The Chamber to partner with other economic development organizations and educational institutions. Silver who has experience in grant writing, also hopes to receive funding from grants through entities such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or the U.S. Department of Labor.
Another item of her agenda to grow The Chamber’s membership is to target minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses — sectors that increasingly are prevalent in the Reno-Sparks community.
“I want us to be very visible out in the community, out at events or hitting the pavement, to speak to businesses in the area,” Silver said.
Silver plans to work closely with chamber staff and board members as she settles into her new role. She wants to seek insights from Stevens’ experience, planning extensive meetings with the latter upon arriving on the job.
Another goal of Silver’s is to collaborate with chambers of commerce of neighboring communities in northern Nevada. At some point in the future, she wants to propose an annual convention of various chambers in northern Nevada to discuss critical topics important to each community.
“I think we can tap into a great deal of knowledge by exchanging ideas from other communities in the area,” she said.
Silver returned to Reno to take over leadership of The Chamber after living in Washington D.C. for about a year. Her husband, Scott Kipper, who served as the former Nevada Commissioner of Insurance, took a position as vice president of state affairs for the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA).
Silver had lived in northern Nevada for more than a decade prior to her brief move back east. She served in executive positions for the Carson City Consolidated Municipality, the Reno Sparks Indian Colony, as well as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada and executive director of JOIN, Inc., a nonprofit that provides employment services in several communities across northern Nevada. She also previously served on the board of directors for The Chamber during her previous stint in the region.
A native of New York City, Silver also worked as general manager of Radio City Music Hall and the Compass Group, a global food and restaurant business.
Silver had been serving as a human resources consultant for Sierra Nevada College while living in Washington D.C., and when the chance arose to return to the region, it was something she couldn’t pass up.
“It’s a pivotal point in northern Nevada’s growth,” Silver said. “It’s a great challenge, but also a great opportunity.”
The Chamber of Commerce, Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada has nearly 2,000 members. For information, go online at: http://www.thechambernv.org.