Chamber of Commerce CEO and president David Adames is leaving Hamilton for a new position with the Niagara Parks Department.

After just 20 months with the Chamber, Adames will start his new job as senior director of business development with Niagara Parks in March.

"I've really been proud of the work we've done," Adames told CBC Hamilton.

Since Adames took the reins at the Chamber in July 2011, he's made a few important changes.

'The vision he has brought the Chamber has really increased the professionalism.'—Neil Everson, City of Hamilton

"Moving the Chamber back downtown repositions the Chamber in a new way in the downtown," Adames said. "We've changed some of the financials with the Chamber, and we're back in a financially stable position. We've also changed the tone of how we do communications and positioned the chamber around some thought leadership."

Hamilton's business community said Adames has been an asset.

"The vision he has brought the Chamber has really increased the professionalism," said Neil Everson, director of economic development for the city. "Now, first class events [like Lion's Lair] are now being run."

His new job will be a bit different. Adames said he'll be overseeing sales and marketing, attractions, heritage sites, retail, food and beverage and golf courses for Niagara Parks.

The announcement came Wednesday afternoon, and he's already being flooded with well-wishes.

"It's been really humbling, the emails have been coming in like crazy," he said. "It's great to know the team has done such a good job."

Adames last day as president and CEO will be Mar. 8. Until the board of directors recruits a replacement, Richard Koroscil, former chair of the Chamber and current Metrolinx board member, will step in as interim president and CEO.