THE executive officer of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced he is retiring from the position.
James Patterson said the decision, announced on Wednesday, was not as sudden as it looked.
"It's been something I have been thinking about for a while. It was one of those things where you've been something for a while and you realise it's time to go," he said.
"I've also been offered work in another area, so it will be interesting to see what happens there."
Mr Patterson said during his time with the chamber he had introduced some successful projects.
"One of the biggest things I will look back on with pleasure is the Careers Expo," he said.
"It's been a huge success and it's grown bigger every year."
Mr Patterson said an ongoing success has been the improvement in communications and networking between businesses in the region.
"Some of the feedback I've been getting since I sent out the email announcing my decision, has been how much they will miss the chamber's monthly news- letters," he said.
"I think we've had a lot of success with our breakfast information sessions.
"I think we've had a lot of success bringing a lot of businesses together to get behind things."
He said the business community had been able to interact a lot more with the big events in the region like the July Racing Carnival and the Jacaranda Festival because of these improved communication channels.
Mr Patterson said there had also been disappointments and the one he regrets has been the failure to establish an effective economic development policy.
"I think economic development needs to be given a more prominent role in the Clarence Valley Council," he said.
"It requires everyone at every level to make an investment for it to work and it can't be left to one body.
"But I've seen it work in other areas and I know it could work here."
Mr Patterson did not know who his replacement would be. He said he would be working with technology marketing company G-Spot Rewards in the Clarence Valley region.