Serving the High Plains

Chamber executive director resigning

The executive director for the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce is resigning her post in mid-January after a little less than three years.

Carmen Runyan said during a telephone interview Thursday her last day would be Jan. 15. The chamber’s Facebook page posted a job opening for her position Wednesday. Tucumcari Lodgers Tax Advisory Board members also briefly discussed Runyan’s imminent departure during their regular meeting Wednesday.

Runyan said she would continue to help Tucumcari MainStreet Executive Director Connie Loveland with their remaining Cash Mob online events at various Tucumcari businesses this month.

Runyan said there was no rancor that led to her resignation.

“It’s amicable,” she said. “It’s all good.”

Runyan declined to say whether she was leaving town for another position.

Lee Judd, president of the chamber’s board of directors, said Thursday that Runyan “wants to do something different. I think she wants more of a challenge. Her reasons for leaving are hers.”

“We’re definitely happy to have had her during this time,” he added.

Judd said the board planned to collect resumes from applicants through mid-December, then conduct interviews. He said he hoped to have a new chamber executive director in place by Jan. 1.

“We’d like to have a little overlap (with Runyan) so she could do a little training with somebody,” he said. “That would be the best-case scenario. I think she’d be good to train the next person who comes along.”

Judd said the board “probably won’t be making any changes” with Runyan’s successor.

Runyan beefed up the chamber’s social-media presence and oversaw a casino-style banquet in January after the annual event went on a one-year hiatus.

She and Loveland also played vital roles in the city’s recent tourism rebranding effort and other events.

Runyan also shepherded the replacement of the chamber’s sign with a modern-day LED message board.

When asked whether she had any departing messages, she said, “Thank you for the opportunity.”

Runyan was hired as the chamber’s executive director in March 2018 after her predecessor, Gail Sanders, announced her retirement after nearly three years at the post.

Runyan, a Tucumcari native, graduated in 2009 from The Learning Center at House Municipal Schools and attended dual enrollment classes at Mesalands Community College.

Runyan attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales and graduated in 2013 with a bachelor of science in communications with a public relations emphasis and electronic media minor. In 2015, she received a master of arts in communication from ENMU.

In addition to being an editor/webmaster, teller and social media director of The Chase, ENMU's campus newspaper, she worked two internships at Walt Disney Co. in Orlando, Florida.

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