Hector steps down as CEO

Written by Kelly Ducote, The Observer April 26, 2013 09:48 am

Judy Hector resigns from chamber’s top spot to move to Arizona with family

by KELLY DUCOTE / The Observer 

Union County Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Judy Hector submitted her letter of resignation Wednesday after nearly five years with the chamber.

Hector, who was named chief executive officer of the chamber in August 2008, will finish out the month of May before vacating the position.

“It’s hard. I have such an affection for this area,” Hector said. She grew up in La Grande, attended Eastern Oregon University and, after leaving the area for work, returned in 2005.

“While Judy has been director, the chamber has taken on additional roles,” said Randy King, past chamber president. 

In early 2010, the chamber took the reins of the Blue Mountain Conference Center, and in August 2010, the chamber was named the tourism promotions provider under a joint city-county tourism promotions advisory board.

“We have expanded our role beyond what one would consider typical of a chamber,” King said.

Under Hector’s tenure, programs were developed to increase membership in addition to promoting a positive economic climate for La Grande and Union County, King said.

“It’s important that we get someone to step in to perform all the functions,” said board member Robert Strope. “The executive committee will formulate a plan and want to move as quickly as possible to get someone in there.”

Strope said finding someone willing and able to maintain the tourism promotions and Blue Mountain Conference Center will be a challenge.

“I think handling both (tourism promotions and the Blue Mountain Conference Center) is just organic to to what the chamber does and is important to the overall mission,” Hector said. With the “excellent staff” at the chamber, she is confident the board will find the right person to fill the position.

“I’m leaving it in good hands. I know I am,” she said.

The board has not yet met to determine a plan of action for finding a new executive director.

“We appreciate what she has done and certainly want to thank her for all she has done,” King said. “We wish her well.”

Upon leaving the chamber, Hector will relocate with her family to Arizona.