After a lengthy search, the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director.
Rex Oliver, who served as executive director of the Murrieta, Calif., Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, was introduced Wednesday evening during the chamber’s annual meeting at IslandWood.
Oliver replaces interim director Frank Kenny, who took over when Kevin Dwyer, who resigned in August after leading the organization for 10 years.
Howard Block, a member of the chamber’s board of directors, said there were about 50 applicants for the job, 15 of whom were interviewed.
Block said the search was long because the board wanted a new director who had experience leading a chamber.
Oliver, who said he signed his contract for the new job earlier in the day, comes from a Southern California city of just over 100,000 people that has grown rapidly during the last 10 years.
Murrieta, a commuter city in Riverside County, is located halfway between San Diego and Orange counties.
Oliver said he is pleased to be joining a community and a chamber board that is rededicating itself to the core mission of a chamber, which is to be “true messengers” for the community.
Oliver said he believes the emphasis of an effective chamber of commerce revolves around several goals, including: networking; a good relationship between business and government; practices that help the business community grow; and building a strong, sustainable economy.
“Most of all,” he said, “it will will be a team effort between the board, staff and all members of the organization in order to make Bainbridge a better place.”
Oliver’s title will be president and CEO of the island’s Chamber of Commerce.