WEST ALLIS — Saying that the West Allis-West Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce board wants the chamber to go in a new direction, board chairwoman Citali Mendieta said that longtime chamber executive director Diane Brandt was let go Friday, April 28.

The second in command, Natasha Rossa who is Brandt's daughter, resigned when she learned that Brandt would be leaving, Mendieta said.

There is no indication of any wrongdoing, she said.

Discussions about changing the chamber direction have been ongoing for at least six months, she said. The chamber will draft a new mission statement and a new vision, she said.

Accomplishing that new vision will require different leadership, Mendieta said. The chamber is now in search of that leadership, she said. The chamber is accepting applications and expects to start interviews at the end of next week, she said.

The chamber will issue a statement later, she said. It was unclear why Brandt was let go before a replacement was found. Mendieta just said that some issues needed immediate attention.

The chamber supports its more than 300 members, mostly area businesses, by offering educational opportunities and chances to network. It also helps businesses celebrate grand openings and holds fundraisers.

Brandt and her daughter posted a statement on the chamber's Facebook page saying how they enjoyed working with businesses and residents in the communities.

"We were honored to meet and become close friends with many very special people," they wrote. "We have found that our residents and businesses really go out of their way to help one another and really care about our community."

They also noted how much support, optimism and even enthusiasm they have received from family and friends, since they left the chamber.

Brandt said she will explore other career opportunities. Rossa passed her real estate exam and is starting a career selling homes, the statement says.

It closes with: "Best wishes to all of our friends we hope our paths will cross again."

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