Oregon City Chamber of Commerce Board President Ben James announced June 26 that "Executive Director Michael Brand is leaving the organization effective immediately."
On June 11, Brand had announced that he would remain the chamber's leader until a new executive director was in place to ensure a "smooth on-boarding/transition plan."
After James' announcement, Brand said that staying on through the transition "would have been nice," but he respected the chamber board's decision to sever ties earlier. Brand says he remains a member of the chamber and now will focus on running his speaking and training business.
Brand said that it was never his intention to stay on as the chamber's leader long-term. Describing himself as a "turn-around specialist," he agreed to step into the leadership position two years ago at a time when the chamber was struggling financially.
"The chamber had a lot of debt, back taxes were due, and it was in really rough shape," he said.
Brand was proud to announce that the chamber now is debt-free and has 320 members covering about 10,000 employees.
"I'm satisfied with the work we've done," he said. "We've accomplished much these past 24 months: stabilized finances, reorganized the staff, strengthened the (Chamber) Board and launched a whole host of new programming."
James said the chamber had been actively recruiting new candidates for the executive-director position for several months. He said the chamber expects to announce a new leader soon.
During the interim, James assured the public that the chamber will continue business as usual from its headquarters on Beavercreek Road. Office hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday. For assistance, call 503-656-1619.
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