Randy Vivian

Randy Vivian

Randy Vivian has resigned as president and CEO of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. His last day will be Oct. 25.

He has accepted a job as deputy section chief of business outreach with the Texas Division of Emergency Management in Austin.

“It was just too big of an opportunity to pass up,” Vivian said Wednesday afternoon.

In his new job, Vivian will work with corporations and businesses across the state to set up networks to aid recovery efforts after disasters.

“The mission of the division is something that I really believe in,” Vivian said. “I got to watch them work in the area after Hurricane Harvey.”

J.J. Craig, Victoria police chief and chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, said the chamber’s executive board met Monday to discuss filling the position.

“We don’t have an ironed-out timeline, but we hope to meet within the next two weeks to get the job description and position profile ironed out,” Craig said.

Craig said an interim replacement will be announced Oct. 23. Meanwhile, Craig said, Christine Blain, vice president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, will continue to fulfill her responsibilities, in addition to taking on additional responsibilities.

After Vivian leaves, Craig said, the search for a replacement will begin in earnest. Craig said it could take up to three months to fill the job.

Vivian said he’s excited to see his successor get creative with the position and lead the city in new directions.

“There are so many places you can go with it,” Vivian said. “They’re going to have great ideas. It’s an amazing job and an amazing career, you just have to let your imagination go wild.”

Craig said he’s excited for Vivian, but sad to see him leave.

“Randy has been a fixture of not only the chamber, but also of the community for a number of years,” Craig said.

Vivian joined the Victoria Chamber of Commerce in 2007 as president and CEO. He has also been active in the community serving several organizations and boards.

In addition to helping small businesses and working with Victoria Economic Development Corporation President Dale Fowler, Vivian said among the highlights of his time with the chamber was working on the expansion of the University of Houston-Victoria from a two-year to a four-year university.

“The downward expansion of the university is such a big event for this community,” Vivian said. “The things it will produce over the years will change Victoria.”

Vivian was born in El Campo, and moved with his family in 1971 to Victoria, where he graduated from Victoria High School and the University of Houston-Victoria.

Vivian served Victoria County as Justice of the Peace from 1991 to 1998. He worked as CEO of Mid-Coast Family Services before coming to the chamber.

Vivian and his wife, Cynthia Vivian, will relocate to Austin, where Vivian said he used to live in the 1980’s.

“Austin is almost a second home for me,” Vivian said. “I’m pretty excited about what we’re going to be able to do on a state level.”

Morgan O'Hanlon is the business and agriculture reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6328, mohanlon@vicad.com or on Twitter @mcohanlon.

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