Roger Breisch, the executive director of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, is the first to admit he has a "deeply philosophical" approach to business.
The monthly column he writes for the chamber's newsletter often focuses on topics such as fear, creativity or leadership, not directly on what businesses or local governments are doing. Witness the opening to the November column on mission statements: "Often, it is when I am lost -- during moments of fear and confusion -- that I need to look deep inside, into my heart, to encounter my true self, and how I relate to the world. Without a willingness to be lost ... I have little hope of being found."
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A feeling that the chamber may benefit from a fresh approach -- "It may need a more practical" one, he said -- led Breisch to announce Thursday that he is quitting after 10 years
He will serve through the end of January.
Breisch said he suspects the chamber needs to "reinvent" itself every once in a while to remain relevant. "What does it mean to be the voice of business in this era, when 'voices' are changing dramatically?" he said, especially with the rise of social media.
And he has other plans, but is keeping his options open.
"I want to get to doing more of the things I want to do," such as writing, thinking, and leading seminars and workshops, he said.
Breisch, 62, started his career as a high school mathematics teacher, before obtaining his master's degree in business administration. He then worked in the chemicals industry; as a consultant, both for a firm and on his own; and then for the chamber.
For many years, he was the organizer of Batavia's Fourth of July fireworks show, and also hosted an "American Dialogue" on civics the morning of the holiday.
"I will try to see where life takes me," Breisch said.