Southwest Indiana Chamber Announces Leadership Changes

Today, the Southwest Indiana Chamber announced two key leadership changes in naming Tim Hayden as vice president and chief operating officer and Ellen Knapp as vice president and chief financial officer effective May 31, 2018. The organizational changes position the chamber for continued growth and set forth a succession planning strategy ensuring the Chamber’s next generation of leadership has broad experience within the organization.


Tim Hayden

Hayden is the current chief communications and engagement officer for the Chamber where he has served for the past year in addition to serving as the interim president and CEO upon Christy Gillenwater’s resignation in September 2017. His promotion to COO will expand his responsibilities to include membership investments, strategic direction of the Chamber’s marketing and communications initiatives, and all internal operations of the organization.


Ellen Knapp

Knapp has served as COO since 2005. Her move to CFO will see her manage the organization’s financial performance, serve as the human resources and contracting officer, and assume primary responsibility for audit coordination.

“Today’s announcement reflects our desire to ensure we effectively utilize and further develop our organization’s talent,” said Jim Sandgren, board chair of the Southwest Indiana Chamber. “Tim has proven that he has the insight and skills to move the Chamber – and our regional business community – forward. His business acumen and credibility have greatly benefited the organization over the past year and make him the perfect choice for this role. Ellen’s expertise and strategic perspective have helped guide the Chamber for more than a decade. As our new CFO, we will continue to benefit from her broad accounting experience, and we know she will continue to be an integral part of the organization’s future success.”

Hayden joined the Southwest Indiana Chamber in May 2017 as the director of marketing and communications.  Tim’s time with the Chamber was preceded by a 27-year career with the Evansville Courier & Press, where he served in various senior management roles including the director of operations and vice president of sales. Tim holds undergraduate degrees in art/graphic design and accounting, both from the University of Southern Indiana, and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at USI.  Tim was born and raised in Southwest Indiana and has been married to his wife Kirsten for 20 years. They have two children, Hailey and Harrison.

Knapp has been a non-profit accountant for nearly 40 years.  She holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Southern Indiana and is active in the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives as well as the Indiana Chamber Executive Association where she regularly presents.  Knapp has been married to Steve Knapp for 36 years and has two grown sons; David resides in Washington D.C. and Joshua resides in Salt Lake City.

“It was an extraordinary experience to take the helm of a team that was performing at the highest level for the benefit of our members – and that performance was a direct reflection of the efforts of Tim and Ellen,” said Tara Barney, president and CEO of the Chamber. “I’m fortunate to work with such dedicated colleagues and look forward to the coming years as we move our Chamber forward together.”