The current executive director of Visit South Bend Mishawaka is taking on an additional leadership position with the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. Rob DeCleene will succeed Paul Laskowski, who is retiring at the end of the year, as the chamber’s executive vice president.
VSBM is an affiliate of the chamber where DeCleene has worked for more than seven years. He will remain the VSBM executive director. DeCleene is also president of the Studebaker National Museum Board of Trustees in South Bend, a board member of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association in Notre Dame, vice chair of the Downtown South Bend Inc. board and member of the Indiana Tourism Association board.
During his 18 year career with the chamber, Laskowski has twice served as interim president and was a driving force in launching the Intercity Visit and Forty Under 40 programs. He has also served as past chair and board member of the South Bend Alumni Association and on the boards of the United Way of St. Joseph County, Business Development Corp. and Northern Indiana Workforce Investment Board.
Mari Bishop has also been promoted from controller to director of operations, which makes her chief financial officer for the organization where she has worked for 33 years.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Rea says "we are so grateful for the intelligence, depth of knowledge and common-sense approach Paul Laskowski brought to the organization for nearly two decades. His commitment to excellence uplifted the Chamber to make it become a stand-out organization in the industry. At the same time, we are looking forward to Rob DeCleene’s expanded role with the organization, providing a fresh perspective but one based on community knowledge and experience. The coalesced nature of the Chamber means we are able to take advantage of the synergies and talents brought to the table by our affiliated programs, as demonstrated by the successful work of Rob DeCleene."