September 28, 2021 – The Board of Directors for the Sunriver Area Chamber of Commerce announced today the retirement of Executive Director Kent Elliott.
“We are all feeling mixed emotions about Kent’s retirement. While we are celebrating with Kent as he enters into a new and wonderful phase in his life, we’ll miss his leadership and dedication to serving the Sunriver community,” said Dan Youmans, president of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Youmans said the Board of Directors will immediately begin a search for a new Executive Director. Elliott will continue in his current role until his replacement is hired, to ensure a smooth transition.
Elliott was hired as the Chamber’s Executive Director in 2013. Previously, he served as president of the Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker insurance agency, which he sold in 2008.
Serving as the Executive Director has been a “great honor” said Elliott, as he looked back on the growth of the Chamber, enhancement of Chamber services, and his work on challenges facing the community, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve always viewed ourselves as the central organization here in Sunriver that businesses and organizations can count on to bring us all together,” said Elliott.
During the pandemic, Elliott has utilized the Chamber’s community Newsletter as a means for keeping Sunriver residents informed about how businesses were adapting to ever-changing restrictions and regulations so that customers would know how to support local stores, shops and restaurants.
The Chamber also launched a “buy local” campaign to support its business community, which is continuing into the shoulder season this fall when tourism tends to wane.
In addition, Kent was instrumental in distributing PPE to local businesses, in many cases making the deliveries of masks and hand sanitizer himself.
“This is a time when we’ve all had to step up and do whatever we can to help each other,” said Elliott.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors noted Kent’s many other accomplishments during his tenure as Executive Director including:
- Producing the Sunriver Magazine, the leading publication about Sunriver for both tourists and residents;
- Taking over sponsorship of the Sunriver Community Potlucks, allowing this long-time tradition to continue;
- Advocacy for the new transit service between Sunriver and La Pine, providing valuable transportation for many employees of local businesses;
- Representing the business community on the safety issue around Harper Bridge;
- Hosting regular “Lunch & Learn” educational and training programs for Chamber members
The Chamber Board also praised Elliott for all that he has done to support local businesses, especially new businesses locating in Sunriver, while at the same time generating excitement among customers for long time businesses.
“There is no greater advocate for businesses just getting started here,” said Aaron Schofield, Board treasurer and former Board president. “When it comes to making referrals, whether for dining, staying here, recreational opportunities, and many other services, Kent’s knowledge about all of our local businesses, and his passion for the Sunriver community, has been invaluable.”