Author(s):    Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff Date: May 9, 1996 Page: 52 Section: Business

The Boston Computer Society has begun a search for a new executive director after the surprise resignation this week of Pam Bybell.

At a board meeting Monday, Bybell announced she was stepping down from her post at BCS, one of the nation's largest organizations of computer users. Bybell said the BCS needs new leadership to strengthen the organization
"I think the BCS is poised to do really great things, if we can just find the right person," Bybell said. "We need a turnaround specialist."

The BCS has seen its membership decline from a peak of 32,000 in 1989 to about 20,000 today. Since membership fees account for most of the group's budget, the falling roster has thinned out the organization's finances. In addition, Bybell said the group's board of directors has been divided over the mission of the BCS, which offers classes and lectures to computer users at every level of experience.

"We need to pick the areas that the BCS can excel in," she said.

But Bybell stressed that her departure from the BCS is voluntary and amicable. BCS board chairman Arthur Nelson said Bybell's resignation took him by surprise.

"We are extremely proud of Pam," Nelson said. "We think she's done a wonderful job." Nelson said the BCS board will soon form an interim committee to choose a new executive director. Bybell will stay on until her successor is chosen.

Bybell, who holds a master's degree in nonprofit organization management from Harvard, said she hasn't decided where she'll be working next