In light of a shaky economy and increased volunteer leadership, the Annapolis Business Association has eliminated the paid position of executive director, which Clare Vanderbeek held since 2007.
"We basically came together as a board and made the decision to eliminate the position," said Jessica Jordan, president of the association's board of directors and owner of Paradigm boutique on Main Street.
"I think it is positive for the organization. ... I think we have a lot of momentum going, and we are making the decision to use our funds differently."
Vanderbeek, the nonprofit's first executive director, earned $1,000 a month for 40 hours of work a month, Jordan said. When Vanderbeek began in the position, the association did not have a president or vice-president for the board, Jordan added. Volunteers will take over Vanderbeek's responsibilities, Jordan said.
"I'm pretty disappointed, but I think there's lots of opportunities out there," said Vanderbeek, who found out the news about her position Monday, her birthday.
"These are challenging times, and associations in particular are being hard-hit as the economy trickles down," she said.
As executive director, Vanderbeek handled communications and public relations for the 150-member organization.
She also ran fundraisers and handled membership recruitment and retention.
Vanderbeek said she, too, had noticed an increase in the number of volunteers from the business community during the past year.
"Since Jessica's been at the helm, she's really put a call out for volunteers to step forward," Vanderbeek said.