Tigard chamber's head abruptly exits post

by: Submitted photo, Tigard Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeremy Monlux resigned Wednesday.

TIGARD - Jeremy Monlux, chief executive officer for the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce for the last three years, abruptly resigned from the nonprofit on Wednesday, April 23.

'It was an abrupt resignation, and basically I can't say any more than that,' said Marjorie Meeks, president of the chamber's executive board.

Monlux turned in his resignation letter at a meeting of the executive board, then packed his personal items and vacated the office located on Main Street in downtown Tigard, a chamber board member said. He gave no prior notice that he intended to resign.

When contacted at his Portland home about the resignation, Monlux, 33, hesitated to explain his quick exit.

'All I can tell you is that I submitted my resignation and that I'm embarking on a new journey,' he said, offering no details about the nature of that journey.

He did touch on the agency's revamped bylaws and policies and its intention to be a more forward-thinking operation.

'I, too, am forward thinking, and there comes a time when you realize that your work is done, and that it's time for a different challenge,' he said.

He also stressed how much he enjoyed working with the chamber's roughly 500 members.

Those members received a faxed press release announcing Monlux's departure on April 24.

Meeks said she expected a lot of people to be 'surprised' upon learning of Monlux's resignation. The executive board met Tuesday, when it formally offered the interim executive director position to Rindy Ranf, who had been working as the chamber's membership director.

'Everyone loves her,' Meeks said of Ranf, who accepted the offer.

No timeline has been set to permanently fill the position, and Meeks said the chamber's decision-makers will let the fallout from Monlux's departure settle before making any concrete plans.

'We have had a chance to meet, but we haven't decided anything further,' she said. 'We're just going to hold tight and wait until the dust settles.'

Monlux started at the Tigard chamber following his work as the sales and marketing director for the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce when he was 30. Prior to that, he worked at Pip Printing, a Lake Oswego business.

He said his greatest accomplishments as executive director were helping to double membership and instituting a leadership program.

'I think the work that I did speaks for itself,' he said.

Monlux said he has no regrets for any of the work he did during his chamber tenure.

The chamber works primarily as a gathering point for area businesses in Tigard and the surrounding communities, offering networking and advertising benefits.