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Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce names new CEO

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 23, 2019

The Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce has named Derrell Hartwick as its new president and CEO. He will assume the role Dec. 2, following retirement of current CEO Steve Wilson. (Courtesy photo)
The Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce has named Derrell Hartwick as its new president and CEO. He will assume the role Dec. 2, following retirement of current CEO Steve Wilson. (Courtesy photo)

The Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce has named a sales and tourism executive from Arkansas as its new president and CEO.

Derrell Hartwick, former director of sales for the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas, will assume the role Dec. 2., following the retirement of current Coeur d’Alene Chamber CEO Steve Wilson.

The Chamber’s board of directors voted unanimously to hire Hartwick following a nationwide search for candidates and extensive interview process that included meetings with area business representatives, community leaders and staff, according to a news release.

“It’s in Derrell Hartwick’s DNA to lead a chamber,” Heidi Rogers, CEO of the Northwest Council for Computer Education and Chamber board chair, said in a statement. “He brings a strong background in the chamber world and has tremendous experience in membership and retention.”

Hartwick’s father, Terry, led the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce for 15 years.

The younger Hartwick said he was drawn to the region during a skiing trip to Schweitzer Mountain while in college.

“I got the opportunity to see Coeur d’Alene and fell in love with it,” he said.

Hartwick came across the Chamber’s job posting online and thought he could be an asset to the organization, so he applied for the position.

“I’m passionate about chamber work because I know how much it can help a community and workforce grow,” he said.

Hartwick’s past experience serving more than 2,100 members of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and his desire to grow Coeur d’Alene Chamber membership base stood out to the local board.

“Derrell is going to be an outstanding addition to our community,” Rick Rasmussen, CEO of Northwest Specialty Hospital and co-chair of the Chamber search committee, said in a statement. “He is very enthusiastic and experienced. His energy, along with compelling ideas, will help us with our chamber’s mission to be a relevant and valuable resource to our business community.”

Hartwick, a former football player for the Arkansas Razorbacks, graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Hartwick was a tourism manager for the North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau before accepting a position as member development director at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

He was promoted to director of sales for the organization a year later, where he managed the sales team along with a $1.3 million membership and retention budget.

Hartwick said his vision for the Coeur d’Alene Chamber is expanding and strengthening the organization’s membership base through new events, promoting workforce development and listening to members.

“I want to be out front in the business community,” he said. “Every single one of (the Chamber members), no matter their size, is important to the community, and learning their wants and needs is going to be a daily thing.”

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