Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce accepts Doris Wehler's resignation
The Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors accepted Doris Wehler's resignation from her volunteer position on the organization's Public Policy Committee for comments she made on a recent podcast. Wehler was once the chamber's president.
"We shared with Doris that while during the past twenty years she has donated hundreds of hours of her time and made important contributions to our Chamber and business community, her podcast comments were totally opposed to WACC beliefs and were unacceptable," a Board statement reads.
Wehler, who also resigned from her position on the West Linn-Wilsonville School District Long Range Planning Committee and as an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Wilsonville, made inflammatory statements on a recent podcast with former state representative Matt Wingard, where she perpetuated racial tropes and called for some rioters to be killed.
On the Chamber committee, she helped craft recommendations to the board related to providing testimony on local governmental topics and candidate and policy endorsements, among other things.
"Doris didn't want any group or organization she was affiliated with to be caused any harm by her actions and words and I think she was very gracious in that. It (accepting Wehler's resignation) was not a hard conversation for us to have at the board level," said Chamber board member Kyle Bunch.
Though Wehler told Pamplin Media Group earlier this month that she did not regret her comments, the Chamber statement said Wehler expressed regret in a letter to the organization.
"Doris said in writing she deeply regrets the comments she made and the hurt they may have caused," the statement reads.
Bunch said that Wehler changed her tune on the issue after talking with people in the community.
"I appreciate the fact she was willing to listen to others, to people she is around and respects and I think she, maybe not right away, but through conversations she had she (realized) she did hurt people through the comments," Bunch said.
The board said in the statement that it will use its influence to "advance economic inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity."
Bunch said these aspirations already factored into board decision making.
"We have challenges because of the makeup of Wilsonville but it's one of the things we're always looking toward on the board: 'What is the diversity of thought and perspective we have on our board' and I think we've done a fairly decent job of trying to (address) that," Bunch said.
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