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Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce appoints new president

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By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

HUNTINGTON – The Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce has appointed Cathy Burns, former executive director of the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone, as its new president and CEO.

Burns will succeed Mark Bugher, who announced his intention to retire as Chamber president some months ago but said he was willing to stay on until a new president was appointed.

In an e-mail sent to members of the Chamber board of directors, board chairman John Spoor said Burns was hired after an extensive search and after the Chamber's executive committee interviewed four candidates for the post. He described the choice of Burns as a unanimous decision by the committee and said she will start her new job Sept. 1

"Bugher will work with Burns during September to ensure a smooth transition, and will continue to assist her and the Chamber on a part time basis for a few weeks following," he said.

Burns was executive director of the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone from 1999 to 2010. After that she was director of the Business Training Resource Center at the Ohio University branch campus in Ironton, Ohio. More recently she has worked as a work force recruiter for the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing in Huntington.

A native of Hurricane, Burns earned a bachelor's degree at Marshall University and a master's degree at Eastern Kentucky University. In 2007, The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington honored her as its Business Innovator of Year, and in 2008 the Huntington Chamber selected her as a Star Volunteer.