Connie Davis, the executive director of the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce since 2011, died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family at her home in Ft. Mojave.
“The Chamber board and our entire Tri-State community are heartbroken,” said Laughlin Chamber board president Jackie Mazzeo. “Connie found the balance between being humble and dynamic, leadership and compassion.”
Intensely private about her illness, she broke her silence when she agreed to be a keynote speaker at the 2010 Bullhead City/Laughlin Relay for Life.
“I am a Stage IV ovarian cancer survivor,” she told the assembled crowd of about 1,000. “Never let anyone tell you there is no hope.”
At the time, she told the gathering that she thought of “cancer” as an acronym for Courage, Advocate, Nourish, Change, Education and Renew. She remained in remission for several years, but was private and low-key when it returned.
“Connie made it clear that she was not going to be defined by cancer,” noted Mazzeo. “She continued to work as long as she could through last week, attending mixers and meetings, and providing regular updates to both our board and the Laughlin Town Advisory Board.”
Davis joined the Laughlin Chamber in 1999.She was later promoted to operations director, and then executive director five years ago. She oversaw the prestigious annual Community Achievement Awards for many years, as well as the annual Chefs’ Fest, which raises money for the locally-based River Fund. She served on the boards of the River Fund, WestCare AZ, and Mohave County Airport Authority for several years. She was committed to local cancer awareness programs including River Fund’s Cancer Connection, Relay for Life and We Care Cancer Support. She expanded the Chamber’s role in local workforce development, small business expansion and local and regional economic development.
A moment of silence will be held in Davis’ honor at this October’s Community Achievement Awards.
Mazzeo said that the Chamber’s executive board will work with staff members to run daily operations until the full board determines a direction for a search and smooth transition to another executive director.
She is survived by her daughter Nicole, son Josh, and precious grandchildren. The family has asked that you respect their privacy at this time and save your phone calls and visits for later. All cards and letters should be sent to the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce.
Services are pending. The family has asked for contributions to River Fund’s Cancer Connection in lieu of flowers.