After almost a year without an official president, the Renton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors selected Diane Dobson as president and CEO.
The decision, expressed in a press release to Renton Reporter on Wednesday, Jan, 29, comes after a national recruitment process that has been ongoing since October 2019. Dobson has served as interim CEO since the departure of Vicky Baxter last spring.
“I am excited for this next chapter, both for the chamber and the community and am looking forward to continuing to build relationships within the business community that enhance and enrich the Renton community as a whole,” Dobson stated in the release.
Dobson joined the chamber staff in March 2018, before stepping in as interim director when Baxter retired in June 2019. Dobson’s is a born-and-raised Rentonite with a longtime family legacy in Renton and the North Renton neighborhood. Before joining chamber she was an active community member and worked in the legal field with at her father Wyman Dobson’s firm downtown.
In the press release, the board states there were several qualified candidates, and that the board appreciated applicant and staff patience while they filled the position with the “best possible candidate to lead the chamber into the future.” Board of Directors President Karen Schartman, who also serves as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Strategy at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, said Dobson brought all the attributes the board was seeking in a leader.
“She has passion and commitment, she has a deep history and understanding of the community, and she has the full confidence of the board in her ability to continue and expand on the great work she has done to support Renton businesses since she joined the chamber staff,” Schartman stated in the release.
The board consists of Schartman, Jay Townsend (First Financial Northwest Bank), Rebecca Cherney (Columbia Bank, Kevin McCarthy (Renton Technical College), Sarah McNeish (Multiservice Center), Reba Haas (Team Reba), Rick Marshall (Renton Regional Fire Authority), James Alberson (Top Tier Training and Development), Lisa Yaskus (Renton Reporter), Kevin Smith (Renton School District), Eric Gaston (The Evergreen Market), Sean Greenlee (Starbucks), David Hoffman (Puget Sound Energy), Rick McMaster (Vino at the Landing) and Ryan Tomasich (Boeing).
More information on the Renton Chamber of Commerce is available at gorenton.com.