Vicki Searles

Vicki Searles, executive director of the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce, sits outside the chamber offices Friday, Sept. 4. Her tenure with the chamber is over at the end of the month.

ENTERPRISE — The Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce has started the search for new leadership as longtime Executive Director Vicki Searles retires.

The chamber’s Board of Directors announced last week it would hire a new executive director this fall. Searles, who has been with the chamber for 20 years, will have her last day at the end of this month.

“I’m ready to move on to new adventures,” she said.

Chief among her “new adventures” is her new position as a realtor with Wallowa Mountain Properties — just across the hall from the chamber offices.

Still, Searles said she’ll miss her time at the chamber.

“I am very grateful to all who have helped and supported me over the years,” she said. “There are too many to share out of fear of missing anyone; how wrong that would be. I look forward to seeing a great future in the next 20 years for the chamber. Wallowa County is special.”

The chamber began preparations for the transition last spring, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay. The chamber instead put its attention on business and community health.

Since then, the chamber formed a hiring committee tasked with the development of a strategy to hire a director and to release a job announcement.

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