Carol Odell, CEO and executive director of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, will retire in May 2013.

Odell began her career with the BBB in 1992, serving as the director of member services. She was named to her current position in 1999.

Odell is credited with building a stronger financial organization; under her direction, the number of accredited business grew from less than 2,000, to its current membership of 3,269. The BBB reports are also reaching more consumers. In 1999,  consumers read about 40,000 business reviews. By the end of 2012, approximately 800,000 reports will have been read.

“It’s satisfying to think about how many people the BBB has helped throughout these years,” Odell said. “It’s a testament to the BBB staff and our business community.”

In 2004, Odell oversaw the merger with the Better Business Bureau of Pueblo, expanding the organization’s reach to include 25 counties in southern Colorado. She created the bureau’s mediation program to help consumers and businesses resolve disputes and she was the co-creator of the Night of Excellence with the BBB award program.

She created and co-hosts The Southern Colorado BBB’s television program and she negotiated air time for a radio show called INSIGHTS now airing on dozens of radio stations throughout the region.

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“Carol has provided tremendous leadership and vision during her tenure as CEO,” said Randy Geving, chair of the BBB’s board of directors. “The organization has never been stronger. She has put together a wonderful team of professionals, which has placed the BBB of Southern Colorado among the top bureaus in the country.”

A search committee has been formed and will begin a search for a new CEO.