The president of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce is stepping down after more than six years at the helm.
Jackie Harder, 59, will continue to serve as top administrator of the organization until April 27 before turning most of her attention to her personal and professional coaching company, Key Dynamics.
After her resignation she will continue to handle the chamber's communications efforts on a contractual basis. Harder will be responsible for the chamber's visitor guides, an annual local information guide, the monthly newsletter and the weekly member e-newsletter.
Russ Yagel, chairman of the chamber's board of directors, said Harder's work with the chamber has been outstanding.
"That she will continue working with the chamber speaks volumes about how the board feels about her," he said.
Asked why she is stepping down, Harder responded, "If not now, when?"
"I have been working really hard for the chamber and its membership," she told The Citizen. "Before that I worked for 30 years with various newspapers. It is time for me to work for myself."
Harder, a native of Coon Rapids, Minn., who became president of the chamber in August 2005, said she is proud of her accomplishments there.
"I redesigned the chamber website, which has increased page use by 30 percent," she said. "I introduced the Explorer Board, an interactive digital marketing technology with a 42-inch touch screen information kiosk in February, and have recently signed a contract with a Minnesota company to redesign the interior of the visitor center."
Harder said her new emphasis with Key Dynamics is to help clients set and achieve their life and business goals.
"Most people just need support, hand-holding and, in some cases, butt-kicking. My job will be to help them stay on the path they have chosen," she said.
Harder thanked the people who have been a major part of her chamber of commerce life.
"It has been such an honor and pleasure to work with not just my many chamber board members, all of them, but with the entire business community as well. I hope to continue to work with businesses that want to grow," she said.