Business

New beginnings: With Kevin Dwyer's departure, interim team to plan Valley Chamber's next moves, pick new CEO

Ross Bentley, formerly of DirtFish Rally School, is interim Snoqualmie Valley Chamber CEO. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Ross Bentley, formerly of DirtFish Rally School, is interim Snoqualmie Valley Chamber CEO.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

The new year has brought new faces to the leadership of the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Former Chief Executive Officer Kevin Dwyer left January 7 to run the Corvalis, Ore., chamber.

With his departure, the Valley chamber’s directors named board member Ross Bentley, former president of DirtFish Rally School and currently with consulting company Performance Rules, as interim CEO, assisted by board member Danny Evatt, a Windermere Real Estate Realtor and broker.

It was one year ago when Dwyer took the Valley job, which was split between contract duties as the City of Snoqualmie’s Economic Development Director and running the chamber. Prior to Dwyer’s taking the Valley chamber job, he had been a finalist in the search for the Corvalis chamber leader.

In a statement, Bentley praised Dwyer for his role in helping the chamber accomplish a lot in 2012.

“We’re in better shape than ever, our membership is solid, and we’ve contributed to attracting new businesses to the area,” Bentley said. “With that said, we’re going to take the Chamber to the next level in 2013, with a major focus on providing even more value to our members, and to the community.”

Paul Tredway, business manager of Sallal Water Association and a lieutenant governor in the regional Kiwanis Club, is the new president of the chamber for 2013.

In an interview, Tredway told the Valley Record that the transition gives the Chamber a chance to bring in a strong CEO and become the best business-support organization in the Northwest.

“We are looking at our current situation as an opportunity to bring an outstanding individual to our organization with the vision and commitment to making our chamber in particular, and our business community as a whole, the best,” Tredway stated.

The chamber will begin a search for candidates over the next three months, with the goal of finding the best fit for leadership. If a new hire isn’t made until mid-year, that’s acceptable, Tredway said, stressing the need to find the right candidate.

The chamber is also considering how it can best fulfill its contract duties for economic development for the city of Snoqualmie, which could include bringing in a consultant to fill that role.

Meanwhile, the interim leadership team is continuing to organize monthly events and update the chamber website.

Besides Evatt and Bentley, the new board, which was selected Tuesday, Jan. 8, includes four newcomers: Nancy Tucker, the planning director for the city of Snoqualmie; Rob Wotton of Sterling Bank; Andy Glandon of South Fork Geosciences; and Tom Watson of Brown and Sterling. Current members include Tredway, Rodger McCollum of Snoqualmie Valley Hospital; Carolyn Simpson of Snoqualmie Valley School District; Gina Estep, the economic development director for North Bend; Cindy Walker of North Bend Theatre; Mary Lou Dreher of Take Shape for Life; Tom Sroufe of Brookwater Advisors; Brad Toft of Academy Mortgage; and William Shaw of the Snoqualmie Valley Record.

The Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce works to help businesses succeed through networking events such as the monthly luncheons, education such as its lunch seminars, discounts to members, economic development and business-to-business commerce  opportunities.

You can learn more about the chamber at www.snovalley.org.

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