Greater Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President John Albion has reported he will be stepping down from his post in June, citing family reasons and the pursuit of other business interests.
Albion, who has been the lead man at the FMB Chamber since January 2008, stated he secretly informed his board of directors about his decision in November 2011, but he didn't want the word to get out until after the Chamber Gala last month. He offered his reasons during a phone interview Friday morning.
"I committed to three years, and it has been four years this past January. I prepared my energy level and my life on that basis," he said. "I feel appreciative of the opportunity to work for the business community. I think it is in the best interest for everybody to have new energy come in. So, then, I could fulfill the goals of my business interests as well as my family interests."
Albion plans to do consulting work and also concentrate on family real estate ventures.
"I have put in a tremendous number of hours - more than I had originally signed on to do- but that was necessary in this economy. Secondly, I did make the mistake of taking only two weeks of actual vacation during my time here," he said. "I'm tired, and I know I am tired because I'm not getting energized after good things happen to get back into it. That tells me I am not well rested."
"Another critical reason, after thinking through it, was that I've been missing key events of my daughter's life, especially over the past couple of years. I missed her high school swim meet because of sand sculpting last November. The year before that, I actually missed her state final championship meet. I know it is part of the job, but there have been too many nights that by the time I get home, I'm saying good night to my daughter if she's not already upstairs and going to bed."
Albion will spend more time with his wife, Lauri; his daughter, Hannah, who is a junior in high school; David, a sophomore in college; and Jacob, a junior in college. Both boys attend Lake Forest College near Chicago.