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Future open for Morgantown Chamber president Ken Busz

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Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kenneth H. Busz intends to stay in Morgantown when he leaves his post between now and June 30.

"I've got some opportunities I'm looking at in the community," Busz said. "I wanted to stay here — it's just time for a change."

Among the initiatives Busz highlighted during his five years of chamber leadership was the establishment of VetConnection as a clearinghouse for opportunities and services for returning veterans.

"(Then-) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, visited New York City, Pittsburgh, and Denver, and he came here for the day three years ago," Busz recalled.

"He asked each of the communities if they couldn't do something to make it easier for veterans to locate services," he said. "We're the only town that did anything."

VetConnection is now a standalone organization that is working, with support from the chamber, to promote awareness of its services.

Among other changes Busz noted during his tenure was the creation of a political action committee that has enabled the chamber to help get pro-business candidates elected to local and state office. He also noted the establishment of more modern and professional office space and the growth of reserves by 25 percent.

Membership, he said, has been flat.

Chamber Board of Directors President Craig Walker did not return a call seeking comment on Busz's work. He said in the chamber's media release that the chamber thanks Busz and looks ahead to maximizing benefits for business members.

As a future challenge for the Morgantown chamber, Busz noted greater involvement in resolving the growing city and county transportation challenges.

The board has initiated a search for Busz's replacement.

A graduate of Salem College — now Salem International University — in Harrison County, Busz directed four chambers in the 20 years before his time in Morgantown, including the Huntington chamber from 1994 to 2004.

After leaving Huntington, he directed the Frederick, Md., chamber until May 2006, then went briefly into consulting for chambers of commerce.