The Tualatin Chamber of Commerce president acknowledges the departure of the executive director

TUALATIN - In an e-mail sent to The Times Saturday and to chamber members Monday afternoon, the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce acknowledged the departure of Executive Director Hope Howard.

The e-mail message did not give any reason for Howard's departure from the chamber nor did the message comment on whether Howard quit or if the board asked her to leave.

With the subject heading 'A message from President Bill Phillips,' Monday's e-mail started with the short but poignant phrase 'Tualatin Chamber seeks new Executive Director.'

Last week, The Times reported that Howard's e-mail address had been deactivated and her name was no longer mentioned on the chamber office's outgoing voicemail options. But Phillips and the chamber president-elect Cheryl Dorman both declined to comment on the Howard's employment status.

According to Phillips' e-mail, the chamber board is looking for an executive director 'to take the chamber in exciting and new directions.' Phillips' e-mail also noted that the chamber board has also already established a selection committee that is expected to immediately begin searching for a new executive director.

Howard was the chamber's first paid full-time executive director. Howard first began working for the chamber in 2000. She took over as executive director after Marianne Pratt.

According to Monday's e-mail, Howard received numerous awards during her tenure at the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce including the 2004 award for Best Festival in Oregon for the Tualatin Crawfish Festival from the Oregon Festival and Events Association.

Howard has been involved with the Tualatin chamber since 1986 when she worked at a travel agency in the city. She was named Business Person of the Year for Tualatin in 1990. Howard was chamber board president in 1995.

'We appreciate Hope's efforts on behalf of the chamber and wish her well in her future endeavors,' Phillips' said in his message.

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