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The head of one of the states leading business lobbying groups is stepping down to pursue business interests and to teach Sam Cassidy president and chief executive of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry said Monday he will leavethe organization by June 1 He has been its director for a little more than two years Cassidy a former state senator and lieutenant governor under Gov Roy Romer said he succeeded in focusing the groupsenergy on doing a few things well including raising the business communitys profile in the Legislature Sam really has been an extremely effective advocate for Colorados businesses and we wish him well said Jeff Johnsonchairman of the associations board of directors Cassidy 50 shepherded business interests through a fruitful legislative session last year a session that included a 100 millionannual tax refund for business personal property taxpayers Weve been effective at the Legislature he said The Legislature is the groups core product When Cassidy came to the job the associations membership was stagnant It wasnt on anyones radar screen he saidDuring his tenure the organizations membership grew from about 1300 to about 1700 members Making the economy relevant to every citizen in the state was among Cassidys goals for the organization Sam has done a great job said Tom Clark president of the Jefferson County Economic Council a job Cassidy heldpreviously Hes brought that organization back to a position of prestige within the state Cassidy said he made the decision to leave in September but agreed to stay through one more legislative session which ends inHis departure will leave two top posts in the organization unfilled Rob Schwartz who had been executive vice president left inNovember His position remains vacant An allegation of sexual harassment has been lodged against Schwartz by two former employees Cassidy said No lawsuit hasbeen filed but the matter is being investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission he said We believe its defensible Cassidy added
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