Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce CEO Keith Dickerson announced Friday that he will retire from his position, effective April 19.
"After much deliberation I have notified President (Bob) Martinsson that I have decided to retire as the full-time Chamber executive effective April 19, 2019 and resume my role as a Chamber supporter," Dickerson wrote in an email to Chamber members Friday morning, shortly after a weekly networking session. "My wife and family are supportive of this decision as it will free up more time for building relationships. I will continue to take part in the Chamber, volunteer with the Village Flower basket program, represent the faith community at Fusion and participate in Leadership Lake Oswego.
"In other words, I look forward to being a fully engaged and enthusiastic member of the Chamber that my wife and I joined in October 2007."
Dickerson, who is a pastor at Lake Oswego's Hope Community Church, joined the Chamber Board of Directors in 2009 and was named CEO in 2014. He is known for playing a key role in the Leadership Lake Oswego program as well as the Village Flower Baskets effort. In 2018, he was named Community Leader of the Year at the Chamber's Celebration of Excellence dinner.
"I have enjoyed leading Friday Networking, coordinating programs and events, and spending months with Leadership LO's emerging leaders," Dickerson said. "I've also been delighted at the insights of our dedicated business and nonprofit members who share their passion for their work and our community."
In an email to Chamber members Friday, President Bob Martinsson thanked Dickerson for his leadership.
"Keith Dickerson came to the Chamber five years ago and has helped shepherd the Chamber to be one of the most recognized Chambers in the state," Martinsson wrote. "All of us at the Chamber thank Keith for the leadership he has provided over the last five years. He is a value to our community, and we support him focusing attention toward family and his ministry at Hope Community Church."
"(My wife) Peggy and I are not going anyplace," Dickerson said. "I will resume my full-time ministry at Hope Community Church of Lake Oswego and welcome you to reach out when you want someone to listen or pray about life, hopes, business or your family."
Martinsson said in an interview Friday that the Chamber's administrative coordinator, Liz Hartman, would take over Dickerson's role on an interim basis after he steps aside.
"She is very capable — she's on the school board and is well-known in the community," Martinsson said.
The Chamber Board of Directors is still in the process of deciding what the next steps will be to hire Dickerson's permanent replacement.
"We will convene and we will do a post for search, more than likely a national search, and we'll consider all options," Martinsson said. "The Lake Oswego Chamber is one of the premier chambers in the state, we live in a premier community and expect interest to be high in people looking to fill the position."
Martinsson added that the focus will be on finding someone who is an experienced business manager and active community member.
"We want somebody with the skills necessary to run a business, and we need somebody that will interface well with the community," he said. "Keith did a great job of that, and we will be looking for somebody with a skillset like that."
And there are other changes on the horizon for the Chamber too, though Martinsson said it was too early to discuss specifics."The board is very excited about upcoming changes — improvements to our infrastructure and improvements to our programs with a big focus on how to deliver value to our members," Martinsson said.
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