The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced Tuesday that Jim Anderson, chamber president for the past 26 years, has decided to retire this summer.

"I am very proud of our talented staff and exceptional board leadership who have contributed to so many successes over the past 26 years," Anderson said. "It's time for the organization to have its next generation of executive leadership."

“Jim Anderson is a master at fostering collaboration and building consensus,” chamber chairman Jeff Schrag said. “Jim's vision and leadership has been key to enhancing our local economy and quality of life. In the process, he grew the reputation and visibility of the Chamber – culminating in the 2012 recognition as national chamber of the year."

Anderson was instrumental in the establishment of Springfield’s Partnership for Economic Development in 1991, which continues to have a direct impact on economic growth and job creation in southwest Missouri and led to the creation of two partnership industrial centers.  He has been a staunch advocate for education and transportation, including eight years of service on the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

The Chamber board will appoint a President Search Committee, which will conduct a national search to fill the position.

“Jim’s leadership style is all about relationship building.  He has advanced our community's goals by forging effective relationships with local, state and national leaders.  His legacy leaves a firm foundation upon which we will continue to build and grow Springfield.  Jim will be missed,” Schrag said.