Demming Bass, who launched the Cobb Competitive EDGE project, stepped down from the job to spend more time with his family.
Chamber CEO David Connell said he will not immediately fill the position.
“We’re like a lot of corporations,” Connell said. “When somebody leaves, you try to see if you can allocate out responsibilities and save our members’ financial resources. We may change our mind in a few months, but this happened sort of sudden, and we’re just going to regroup, not do anything immediately.”
Connell hired Bass in 2010 to replace his then-wife, Holly Bass, who moved from the chamber’s chief operating officer to become chief executive officer of Cobb Travel & Tourism.
Prior to that, Demming Bass had worked at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce on an economic development program similar to the one he helped roll out in Cobb, called Cobb’s Competitive EDGE.
“He launched the Competitive EDGE project based on his work in other communities — just did a fabulous job. He is going to end up in a career after he’s taken some time off that I think will benefit other organizations just like it did ours,” Connell said. “We’re going to miss him a lot, but I wish him well, our board wished him well, and we’re going to continue to be great friends and work together, but it will just be in different capacities.”
Bass said he plans to take his twin daughters, Ashley and Reagan, who will turn 4 in May, on a tour of the South over the next few months. He’s also been writing country music and plans to record an album with a friend in Nashville, as well as pursue his interest in painting.
Bass, 39, who attends Andy Stanley’s Buckhead Church, said a recent sermon made him at ease with his decision. The sermon was on the importance of being active in children’s lives.
“If you have a job or anything else you do, whenever you leave, somebody can always replace you, but they can never replace you as a dad, and you hear so many times about everybody saying you need to spend time with them, don’t let them grow up too fast, and so that was sort of the final tipping point that made me comfortable moving on,” Bass said.