The woman who led the Meridian Chamber of Commerce for the past six years is suddenly out of her job, and no one is saying why.
Anne Little Roberts “is no longer with the chamber,” said Mike Ruffner, the chamber’s current chairman, in an email this week to chamber members. “We wish her well on her new endeavors.”
Ruffner did not return a phone message Thursday. Roberts did, but said, “Under the advice of legal counsel, at this point I have no comment.”
Roberts, 56, began volunteering at the chamber in 2009 and was appointed CEO in 2011. Her work mainly involved supporting the small businesses that make up most of the chamber’s membership.
In 2015, though, she jumped into a political fight: She sided with Linda Clark, the superintendent of the West Ada School District, when newly elected school board members tried to get rid of Clark. The board members got their wish, but two of them were ousted in a recall election soon after.
Last fall, voters elected Roberts to the Meridian City Council to succeed David Zaremba, who did not run again. The loss of her chamber job “in no way impacts my role on City Council,” Roberts told the Idaho Statesman.
Meanwhile, the chamber has an interim president and CEO: Christine Donnell, who preceded Clark as schools superintendent and helped lead the successful recall.
“We will be posting for the CEO/president position and encourage all qualified individuals to apply,” Ruffner’s email said.
Roberts and her husband, Doug, own two Meridian businesses: Dryject Turf Services, which aerates golf-course greens, and Ink Pipeline, an online ink-and-toner dealer. Roberts said her husband has managed those businesses while she has focused on her chamber and council work.
A former chamber board member said he was sad to see Roberts go.
“The chamber was in bad shape six years ago, and Anne was a boon to the chamber,” wrote Bruce Altig, an insurance broker, in a comment on the Meridian Press’ Facebook page. “It grew tremendously under her.”