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Corey Kearsley says he will step down as CEO of Sherwood chamber. Renee Brouse will serve as interim director.

PMG FILE PHOTO - KEARSLEYAfter three years at the helm of the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, Corey Kearsley has announced he will leave the organization.

In an email sent to chamber members Friday, Kearsley wrote that his "graying hairs and recent reminders of the fragility of life motivate me to pursue other ambitions and goals." "While I'm excited to engage in new opportunities, leaving a job that has been personally and professionally fulfilling is hard. It's been a blessing to have been in a position to see and experience a little bit of the behind-the-scenes work that helps Sherwood function," Kearsley wrote. "While COVID-19 turned the job I was hired to do into something completely different, I'm grateful for the experience."

Kearsley said that Renee Brouse, a chamber board member, will serve as interim director, ensuring "a smooth transition" until a replacement is found.

Kearsley counts how the chamber responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as its biggest accomplishment while he headed the organization.

"Several members of the business community have expressed how vital it was to help keep them up to date on the ever-changing rules and mandates along with all the various loans and grants that became available," he explained.

Another highlight of his chamber career was the organization's Be Local Buy Local program that was undertaken in partnership with Portland General Electric and the Metropolitan Land Group. It generated nearly $10,000 in gift card sales for merchants in Sherwood.

So what will he miss most about his time with the chamber?

"I'll most miss the regular interactions with business and community leaders and all the volunteers that help make Sherwood's events and activities happen," he said. "I've come to admire and appreciate how much they do despite not getting much recognition for their service."

For the future, Kearsley said both he and his wife will soon start their own business, which includes taking their experiences of losing their spouses to help other families get their affairs in order.

"We discovered in our support groups that how well the widow or widower adapts is directly correlated to how prepared they were," he said.

Kearsley took over as the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce's executive director in December 2018, replacing Lana Painter, who had served in that position for almost five years.

A longtime Sherwood resident, Kearsley previously worked for the Washington County Visitors Association.

This story was updated to include added comments from Kearsley.


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