BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce executive director has resigned after about a half year on the job.

Janet Mackey, president of the chamber's board of directors, confirmed Jennifer Doyle's departure earlier this week. Doyle was hired in June to replace Bernadette Smith, a longtime city booster.

"She (Doyle) resigned for personal reasons," Mackey said. "We will look for a replacement after the first of the year."

The Aztec Chamber of Commerce also is without a director prompting some discussion of forming a regional chamber.

Doyle took over the job in June after Smith, 66, retired in March. Smith had volunteered on the board of directors since 1989, serving the last five years as the Chamber's executive director.

Doyle, 27, grew up in Bloomfield and attended Aztec High School, graduating in 2004. She and her sister, Stacy Archibeque, opened a thrift store in Farmington earlier this year. Doyle could not be reached for comment.

Despite the loss of its executive director, the Bloomfield business organization is healthy and resilient, Mackey said.

"Memberships have been pretty steady the last few years," Mackey said. "We are holding our own, busy with all the holiday events we have going this season. We are not gaining nor losing, which in this economy is not a bad thing, right?"

Bloomfield's sister city to the north, Aztec, has had its share of trouble this year after its executive director, Christa Rommé, departed that city's chamber of commerce in May. The Aztec organization currently has only one board member and has been holding a series of "call to action" meetings in an effort to regain its footing.

The Bloomfield Chamber, which currently has nine active members and two ex officio members, is the only chamber in the county that functions as a part of the city, which means it can receive lodgers' tax revenue. The Aztec and Farmington chambers are independent organizations.

"We're an active chamber and have an active board (of directors)," Mackey said.

During Aztec chamber meetings held the last two months, the idea of a regional chamber of commerce was mentiomned.

Mackey said she had not heard nor had she been approached about merging the three organizations.

Mary Batley Rogers, Farmington Chamber of Commerce board of directors chairwoman, attended the first Aztec Chamber of Commerce "call to action" meeting last month.

"I ... did offer to help them with any clerical work, help with customer training seminars like those we offer Farmington businesses. We could offer logistical things like rerouting (Aztec chamber) calls to Farmington or something like that," Rogers said. "But we don't want to be like the big giant on the block and crush these other two. If Bloomfield's chamber were receptive, it might be time to look at a regional chamber. In fact, the executive and general Farmington board have kicked (the idea of a regional organization) around when we were replacing our director. We were thinking that in maybe a few years down the road we'd look at that."

Rogers said the three business organizations have worked successfully together in the past, but a regional group would have to be proposed by Aztec and Bloomfield.

"We definitely need to sit down together and even reach out to Kirtland, Fruitland and Waterflow businesses, too," Rogers said. "Maybe this is the time to seriously look at being a regional San Juan County chamber, but we do not want to overstep or act like we have all the answers."

Rogers cited a tri-chamber golf tournament at Hidden Valley Golf Club two years ago and the three chambers' involvement in "The Disney Project," which brought a group of Disney officials to Farmington to speak about effective business planning and marketing strategies, as two successful regional events.

"I wish (the Bloomfield Chmaber of Commerce) luck," Rogers said. "It would be hard for anyone to fill (Bernadette Smith's) shoes."



James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4631 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.