Local leaders were surprised earlier this month when Steve Paterson abruptly resigned from his post as chamber of commerce president and CEO.

“Nobody has told me ‘this is why he’s out,’” Mayor Pat Hallisey said. “He’s a nice guy. I thought he did a good job building the chamber after getting a rocky start.”

Paterson took over as the president and CEO of the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2015 and, during his tenure, developed a good working relationship with city staff and officials, Hallisey said.

Paterson said his resignation was all about wanting to pursue other interests.

“I’ve been doing it almost five years, I felt like I’ve done what I could get done, and I wanted to pursue other interests,” Paterson said.

Chamber Chairman Bill Provenzano announced Paterson’s resignation March 18 in a letter to chamber members, but didn’t provide much detail.

“On behalf of the chamber board of directors and chamber staff, we thank Steve for his service to the chamber,” Provenzano said in the letter. “Steve has decided to pursue other avenues in his career. We wish him and his family the best in their future endeavors.”

Provenzano declined to answer follow-up questions about the resignation.

“I don’t have any additional comments,” he said. “Steve did a great job for the chamber, we wish him all the best.”

Other members of the chamber’s board referred questions about Paterson to Provenzano, while members of the business community said they had not expected the resignation.

“I was surprised when I read the email last night,” said Amanda Fenwick, an ex-officio member of the board and a councilwoman with the city of Clear Lake Shores. “I do not know what led to his resignation. In my time on the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce board, I have enjoyed working with Steve. His leadership has helped the chamber grow membership and become an important player for business growth in our region.”

Several local residents, including Hallisey, noted that Paterson did not attend Galveston County Day in Austin on March 6. The lobbying trip to Austin is a major event for all the county’s chambers and some members said they thought Paterson’s absence was unusual. Paterson said he didn’t attend the Austin event because he was taking time off.

A former Galveston County Daily News advertising director, Paterson had been with the chamber since 2015 when the previous chamber president also resigned abruptly.

Paterson arrived at the chamber during a tumultuous time for the organization.

He succeeded Laurie Baldwin, who resigned in 2015 after a controversial attempt to drop League City from the organization’s name.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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