Mark Guenther, executive director of the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for the past five years, has resigned from his job, saying, “the time has come for me to look into and explore other avenues.”
CAGLCC announced Guenther’s resignation in a statement released on Wednesday at the same time it announced it had postponed indefinitely for the second year in a row its premier annual event known as G.LIFE EXPO, a day-long exposition in which national and local corporations and businesses display their products or services, with many catering to an LGBT clientele.
The event had been scheduled for Jan. 24 at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel in Northwest Washington.
The group also announced the election of a series of new members of the executive committee of its board of directors.
“Between the changing of the guard and the forecast for another tough winter, the board decided it would be best to postpone G.LIFE,” said John Quattlebaum, the newly elected president of the CAGLCC board.
“Though this was a tough decision, the board wanted to make sure we delivered an event that is of the quality that our members have come to expect,” Quattlebaum said in a statement. “I am grateful for how understanding most of our sponsors and vendors have been.”
The statement announcing Guenther’s resignation said only that “Guenther stated moving on as appropriate for him at this point in his career.” The statement doesn’t indicate whether he would be starting another job, and Guenther didn’t respond to a call from the Blade seeking comment.
“Guenther has overseen many accomplishments such as more than doubling the membership, ranking consistently in the top twenty chambers in the region by the Washington Business Journal and being awarded the prestigious Chamber of the Year Award in 2012 by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce,” the CAGLCC statement says.
“I was given an opportunity of a lifetime to be the first executive director of the Chamber and I loved my job,” Guenther said in the same statement. “Nothing gave me greater pleasure than to be part of an organization that helped so many LGBT businesses grow and thrive, but the time has come for me to look into and explore other avenues,” he said.
The statement says Quattlebaum will oversee the formation of a search committee to find a replacement for Guenther.
In addition to Quattlebaum, who works as a wealth planner with Wells Fargo Private Bank, the newly elected members of CAGLCC’s executive committee include Katie McElroy, founder of Katie Rose LLC, who will serve as vice president; Don Uttrich, director, Jackson Campbell P.C., who will serve as secretary; and Brian Haney, Agency Managing Associate, MassMutual Greater Washington, who will serve as treasurer.
Guenther became the subject of news media reports in November 2012 when he was charged by D.C. police with a misdemeanor offense of unlawful entry into the apartment of a neighbor who lived across the hall from him in an apartment building in D.C. The charge was dismissed in April 2013 after Guenther successfully completed community service work as part of a deferred prosecution agreement reached with prosecutors and a D.C. Superior Court judge.