The Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce plans to select a new president and CEO within two months, and it will hire a professional executive search firm to help with the process.

Bill Nelson of Intermountain Health Care, the chamber board of governors vice chairman and leader of the search committee, said it interviewed two national "headhunter" firms Monday and hopes to select one within the next week.The chamber is seeking a replacement for Stanley B. Parrish, who resigned last month after two years as president and chief executive, citing "personal and professional difficulties."

Nelson said Tuesday that Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart are the two firms that were interviewed for the job, and the committee is leaning toward Spencer Stuart right now.

The fees of either agency will be "significant," Nelson said, and some of the larger chamber members may be asked to help foot the bill for the search.

"We're doing some things that will cost some money," he said.

But Nelson said search committee members thought an independent firm was necessary to help formulate a job description and examine candidates.

The committee also decided that the main attributes the new president should have are the abilities to build the future and develop the chamber to meet the changing demands of the business community, Nelson said.

He said anyone interested in the job should submit a resume, and he denied rumors that the search committee already has narrowed the field down to a select group of applicants.

"There has been no narrowing," Nelson said. "That will take place during the formal process. . . . We're going to go through an open process with a national search."

He said the goal of selecting a new president within two months is "aggressive," but the committee hopes to move quickly.

Mark Stromberg, who finished a one-year term as board chairman on June 30, took over as acting chamber president when Parrish resigned July 20.

Stromberg said Tuesday that Parrish's resignation has not prevented the chamber from continuing with "business as usual."

"Things are going very well," he said. "The staff is focused. They're doing their jobs."

Stromberg also said the chamber has hired the Salt Lake City law firm of Ray Quinney & Nebeker to make a "thorough and complete review" of all chamber policies, practices and procedures.

He said the chamber may make changes to areas where current policies are "soft," although he did not specify what those changes may entail.

Serving on the presidential search committee with Nelson are Brad Baldwin, Bank One Utah; Kem Gardner, The Boyer Co.; George Mantes, Mantes Chevrolet; Patricia Richards, First Security Bank; Stuart Reid, Salt Lake City Corp.; and D.N. Rose, Questar Regulated Services.