Wilson to retire from Cd’A Chamber

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Steve Wilson, president and CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, announced he would be stepping down at the end of the year.

“It has been an honor to serve the members of this great organization for the past eight years,” Wilson said, in a statement released Tuesday. “I have had the pleasure of working with great board members, staff, and volunteers. I am proud to have helped our team create hundreds of marketing opportunities for our members that have aided in growing their businesses. The chamber has represented the voice of business in a loud, focused manner.”

He said the chamber’s advocacy efforts, combined with those of other chambers statewide, have contributed to changing policy that reduced employers’ unemployment insurance tax by $118 per employee and played a significant role in advocating for the income tax reduction last year.

“We have been strong supporters of policy that has placed greater emphasis on Career and Technical Education which continues to expand the area’s workforce. I am most proud of the visionary leadership the chamber has taken within the community, having helped give life to CDA 2030, and continuing to help shape many important development projects such as East Sherman and the Health Corridor master plans,” Wilson said.

Brent Lyles, current chairman of the chamber board, said Wilson is leaving the chamber in solid financial shape.

Under Wilson, the chamber produced positive “year on year” cash flows, Lyles said, and led a campaign to pay down the chamber’s building mortgage by more than $200,000.

“The restructuring of the Ironman contract, solid membership support and the addition of two new successful programs, the Women’s Conference and COEURfest are contributing factors as well,” Lyles said.

Before assuming the leadership position at the Coeur d’Alene Chamber, Wilson worked for the Hagadone Corp. for 28 years. He joined The Coeur d’Alene Resort in 1984, moving from Boise, where he served as the director of the Idaho State Tourism Promotion Program.

He was The Resort’s first director of sales and marketing, followed by a tenure as the general manager of the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, becoming general manager of The Coeur d’Alene Resort and finally returning to the Coeur d’Alene Inn as general manager before leaving in 2011.

“Incoming chair Heidi Rogers and executive vice chair Rick Rassmussen have volunteered to head the search for the Coeur d’Alene Chamber’s next CEO. They will be working diligently to develop a process for filling this important position,” Lyles said.

It is anticipated a search committee will be formed in March, followed by community leadership interviews in April, helping to develop a qualification profile which will lead to a job posting by June.

Finalists will be selected in August, with interviews held in September and culminating in a job offer in October. Preferably, the chosen candidate can begin in December, allowing for a smooth transition. Those interested in applying are asked to wait for the posting to be announced in June and submit their application as directed.

The Coeur d’Alene Chamber is the state’s second largest chamber of commerce, with roughly 1,000 member organizations representing over 25,000 local employees.

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