#7 News Story:Thurow resigns from chamber; Miller named new president
The Greater Eureka Springs Chamber
of Commerce experienced a big change
in April when its president and chief
operations officer, Tammy Thurow, resigned.
The Citizen spoke with Thurow
and chamber officials to determine what
led to the resignation and whether it really
was a resignation at all.
Thurow said she had been planning to
resign for quite some time, saying she
had two job interviews in Northwest Arkansas
before resigning from the chamber.
The day she resigned, Thurow said,
she had already moved most of her personal
items out of her office.
Cathy Handley, chairwoman of the
chamber’s board of directors, said she
didn’t expect Thurow to resign the
day it happened. Handley said she was
meeting with Thurow about a salesperson
Thurow recently hired. Thurow said
chamber officials asked her to resign
at the meeting. Handley said it didn’t
happen quite like that, saying she and
Thurow clashed over the salesperson
Thurow wanted to hire.
Thurow said she and the chamber
board agreed to say she resigned to pursue
other business opportunities, saying
the chamber didn’t follow through
with that. Thurow said the
chamber sent out a press release
announcing the resignation
without saying Thurow
would be pursuing other
John Speed, second vice
chair of the chamber board,
said Thurow caused the uproar
by going to local businesses
to talk about the chamber the
morning she resigned. It was difficult
to do her job fully, Thurow said, because
the chamber’s executive committee
changed the rules regularly. Handley
said the executive committee can’t
constantly change the rules, because the
board meets once a month.
Moving forward, Speed said the
chamber had nothing to hide from the
“Our meetings are open. Our minutes
are public. We have total transparency
about everything that has happened and
transpired,” Speed said. “I don’t think
we have anything to hide.”
And when it comes to Thurow?
“We wish her well,” Speed said.
“We do wish her well,” Handley said.
“We hope she finds a job and has a great
life. We just really want to move forward.”
The chamber found its
new leader in May, agreeing
to hire Paul Miller as the
new chief operating officer.
Miller officially started July
1, saying he was 100 percent
committed to his role and the
“I’ve been part of Eureka
now for five years, six years,
so as far as settling in, I’m just very excited
to start the position,” Miller said.
Miller described what brought him
to Eureka Springs, saying he and his
wife, Catherine Pappas, relocated from
Houston years ago. Since moving here,
he said, the two have started a business.
They have already worked with the
chamber, he said, and feel confident in
“We’ve had a tremendous experience
with the chamber. We were well-invited
into the community. We always felt included.
We always had that reach back
to them,” Miller said.
Miller spent the last 17 years with
NASA. He said he was excited to bring
the love he has for business development
and creative business models to
Eureka Springs to unify the chamber
and the local businesses it serves. In
his first six months on the job, Miller
launched the Jackrabbit Reservation
System, organized the 47th annual Antique
Auto Festival and kicked off holiday
cheer with the Christmas parade.