It's been 24 years since the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce needed to find a leader for its organization. An exceptional run by Evan Nolte will soon conclude.

In a press release, the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce announced that President/CEO Evan Nolte will retire at the end of 2016.

Under Nolte’s leadership, the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce currently has more than 2,200 members. He leads a professional staff of 30 under the direction of a volunteer 19-member Board of Directors.

“This community has a debt of gratitude to pay Evan Nolte for his extraordinary leadership of our Chamber for over 37 years. He has been at the forefront of so many initiatives, large and small, that have built Sioux Falls into the best place to live, work, and play,” said 2015-16 Chair of the Board Paul Bruflat, CNA Surety. “We wish Evan the best in retirement and we are forever grateful for his legacy of leadership.”

Nolte's list of accomplishments is quite distinguished. His community and professional involvements include serving as a member of the Forward Sioux Falls 2011-2016 Joint Venture Management Committee, South Dakota Economic Development Council and American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE); he is a board member of the Sioux Empire Housing Partnership, the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Downtown Sioux Falls Development Committee. In 2014, he was appointed as Chair of the Mid-America Chamber Executives (MACE) Advocacy Alliance.

In 2013, he received an Alumni Achievement Award from Augustana College for his leadership in community issues. In 2015, he was named the SME Sales & Marketing Executive of the Year. He and his wife, Lesley, have four sons. Nolte attended Iowa State University and graduated from Augustana College (Sioux Falls) with a bachelor’s of science degree in political science and business administration.

To start the search for a new head of the organization, the Chamber’s Board of Directors has decided to conduct a search with a professional recruiting firm with expertise in chamber searches. Waverly Partners, LLC was named in the release as the chosen group to conduct a nationwide search. Mid-June is the anticipated target for the start of the application process.

In addition, the Chamber search process will seek broad input from members, as well as community and civic leaders about what they value most in a chamber leader.