Todd L. Shimkus, president of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2003, has been selected to succeed Joseph W. Dalton Jr. as president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.
Dalton, 68, who retires in June, has been president of the Saratoga chamber for the past 40 years. He is credited with the revival of Saratoga Springs during his tenure.
Michael Munter, Saratoga County chamber’s board chairman, said Friday the chamber chose Shimkus, 43, from among 50 applicants in a national search because of “Todd’s wealth of experience with chamber work and his ability to succeed wherever he hangs his shingle.”
“He’s a very personable guy, a very concise, well thought-out guy,” Munter said.
“All around, he handles himself very well. He seems like the right fit for us,” Munter said.
Munter said Shimkus organized a visit several years ago for Saratoga County and Warren County leaders to Hillsboro, Ore., to see how that community handled the location of Intel’s large chip manufacturing plant there in the mid-1970s.
Shimkus said Friday that he was impressed how that community outside of Portland transformed itself into “Silicon Forest,” dealing with the explosive growth in the semiconductor industry yet protecting its environment and quality of life. GlobalFoundries is building a $4.2 billion computer chip manufacturing plant in the town of Malta.
“I’m really humbled,” Shimkus said about being chosen the Saratoga County chamber president. He will start his new job sometime in July after completing pending tasks at the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, which has offices in Glens Falls.
Shimkus and his wife, Lisa, have two children, a 16-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter. They live in Glens Falls but plan to move to Saratoga County in the near future.
Dalton said Shimkus had some “very stiff competition” among the many applicants for the chamber job. The chamber board first invited eight candidates to Saratoga Springs for interviews and then reduced this list down to four finalists.
Dalton said he was not involved in the selection process but knows and likes Shimkus.
“He has the same philosophy I do: team play,” Dalton said. “There’s no boss, everybody is pretty well equal, let people do their job.”
“He brings a lot of skills to the table and is well respected in Glens Falls,” Dalton said.
During his nearly eight-year tenure at the ARCC, Shimkus increased membership by 22 percent, led a successful effort to secure a vote of the Warren County Board of Supervisors to reverse an earlier vote to increase the local sales tax, and created a number of networking and business improvement programs.
Prior to coming to the Adirondack Regional Chamber, Shimkus was vice president of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber.
Munter said Shimkus and Dalton are currently two of only four chamber executives in the state to have earned the Certified Chamber Executive designation. Shimkus is also one of only a few chamber presidents in the state to have completed the American Chamber of Commerce Executives’ Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship program.
Munter said Dalton is paid about $190,000 per year but that Shimkus’ starting salary will be in the $150,000 range. An employment contract has not yet been finalized between the Saratoga chamber and Shimkus.
Shimkus has a bachelor’s degree from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., and a master’s in public policy from Tufts University in Boston.