The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC today announced the selection of Ryan C. Unger as its new president and CEO. Unger, who currently serves as president and CEO of Team Pennsylvania Foundation, will assume the role effective July 1, 2021. Longtime Chamber & CREDC president and CEO David Black is retiring at the end of June.
“The combination of Ryan’s passion for the region, and his background in government advocacy, economic development, and community organizations, is a perfect match to lead the Chamber & CREDC,” said Meron Yemane, Chamber board chair and member of a search committee composed of members of the Chamber & CREDC’s boards of directors. “We are grateful to Dave for his 20 years of faithful stewardship and service to our community. We are confident that Ryan will build on the momentum of Dave’s leadership and further advance the Chamber & CREDC as a catalyst for job creation, policy change and economic growth that not only enhances the quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties, but also makes our region inclusive and equitable for all.”
The search committee, consisting of seven members, began a national search process at the start of this year with the assistance of Jorgenson Consulting, an executive search firm with expertise in chamber and economic development corporation executive searches.
“The search committee conducted a dozen stakeholder sessions during which we convened over 100 people to gain consensus on what qualities were needed in an ideal candidate,” said Ben Dunlap, search committee co-chair. “The search generated 125 applications from the region and across the country. Our committee arrived at a decision after three rounds of interviews. It was very clear to all of us that Ryan’s enthusiasm and expertise is just what we were looking for.”
“Chambers are key connectors in our communities, and I’m excited to step into this role at a time when connection is vitally important,” Unger said. “I’m grateful to the business community for trusting me to lead this incredible organization, and I look forward to working with our inspiring members and board to continue building an organization where people feel comfortable coming to create meaningful change and tackle challenges. We’ll work to make sure everyone in our region is proud to call this home.”
Unger joined Team Pennsylvania in May 2011 as director of policy and programs, and was appointed president and CEO in December 2015. Under his leadership, Team Pennsylvania built upon its founding philosophy of “leading by convening.” For example, a public-private partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture was formed to support the commonwealth’s agricultural economic development efforts. The partnership produced a first-of-its-kind economic impact analysis that highlighted the agriculture industry’s $135 billion impact on Pennsylvania’s economy. This work helped secure over $30 million in public investment included in the 2019 “Pennsylvania Farm Bill,” which made Pennsylvania the first state in the nation with a bill dedicated to growth in agriculture.
In his roles at Team Pennsylvania, Unger also assisted with the development of nationally recognized policy and state-level strategy documents and reports on topic ranging from Marcellus Shale development to manufacturing. Additionally, he led Team Pennsylvania in partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to publish research and a roadmap on “Leveraging Petrochemical Opportunities in Pennsylvania” following Royal Dutch Shell’s historic $6 billion investment in western Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining Team Pennsylvania, Unger worked in regional economic and community development at SEDA-Council of Governments based in Lewisburg, PA, and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce based in Shamokin Dam, PA.
Unger currently serves on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association and the board of advisors for Harrisburg Young Professionals.
During his time in the greater Susquehanna Valley, Unger served on a variety of nonprofit boards and authorities including the Sunbury Housing Authority, Sunbury Redevelopment Authority, Susquehanna Valley Young Professionals and Sunbury Rotary Club. He also was president of both the Degenstein Community Library and Leadership Susquehanna Valley. Unger was the 2013 recipient of Leadership Susquehanna Valley’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Unger graduated from Elizabethtown College and is currently president of the alumni association for his alma mater.
About Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC
Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC serves as a catalyst for promoting growth and quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties through bold leadership, visionary members and powerful results. Building on its 136-year history, the organization provides a unique blend of business, community/economic development and advocacy services under one roof to boost economic vitality and livability across the region. The Chamber & CREDC is five-star accredited by the United States Chamber of Commerce, a distinction achieved by less than 2 percent of chambers across the nation.