Dwyer steps down as Chamber of Commerce director

Kevin Dwyer, the executive director of the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, has resigned the post effective Aug. 31.

The chamber's board will appoint an interim executive director to replace Dwyer, a 23-year resident of Bainbridge.

Dwyer said he and his wife, Mary, will continue living on the island. He said he will pursue opportunities in the areas of writing, communications, chamber work, marketing, tourism, economic development and the nonprofit arena.

"It's been a great run," Dwyer said in a statement released by the Chamber of Commerce. "I've truly enjoyed leading the chamber; working with a great staff and board of directors and interacting with our many diverse members. There are very few communities with our level of involvement, support and participation. It's a very unique place."

Dwyer said the nonprofit organization is well-positioned going forward, coming off one of its most successful Grand Old Fourth of July celebrations; experiencing record sales in its Department of Licensing Sub-Agency; and observing a noticeable uptick in tourists using its Visitor Information Services.

Under Dwyer's leadership, membership rolls jumped from 670 members when he took over in 2001 to more than 1,000 in 2008; it has settled back to about 830 members during the current recession.

"Kevin's been a great advocate for island business and a great representative of the chamber over all those years," said Rodney Bauch, a past board president. "We appreciate his hard work and dedication to making the chamber a better organization than when he found it. He will be missed."

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