Vancouver Chamber Remembers John McKibbin
(VANCOUVER, Wash.) – John McKibbin, a former CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce has been confirmed missing on March 23rd 2016. He departed the Pearson Air Museum and headed west to Astoria, where a private plane had reportedly crashed into the Columbia River.
John McKibbin took the helm of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce in the winter of 2003. He was identified as the top candidate to lead the Chamber after a national talent search. His leadership and ability to advocate on behalf of business reflected the Chamber's record growth during his time as CEO. His prior experience as a State Senator and County Commissioner served as a great connector as McKibbin pioneered community partnerships that are still in place today. As the CEO of Identity Clark County, McKibbin's strategic partnership with the Chamber and the CREDC is exercised annually with our "Shared Legislative Priorities" document that highlights our region's top economic, educational, and infrastructural needs to our lawmakers in Olympia.
During his three years as CEO McKibbin: launched the Retro Retail Program, created infrastructure improvements, moved the GVCC to its current location in downtown Vancouver (1101 Broadway Suite 100, Vancouver WA 98660), built membership to highest numbers on record at 1,492, provided outstanding public affairs committee (PAC) leadership on local and state level issues impacting business, collaborated with other agencies for superior community building with leadership by the Chamber of Commerce.
Link to Columbian Article on first report of John McKibbin's plane crash: http://www.columbian.com/news/2016/mar/24/prominent-vancouver-citizen-reported-missing/
Lisa Goecke, Perkins & co
GVCC Board Member & Member of the Hiring Committee
"I was serving on the board of directors, as well as the search committee for the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce at the time we were looking for the Chamber’s next CEO. Our committee made the decision to do a national search at the time to find the very best candidate. Let’s just say we found the perfect person to lead the Chamber in our backyard and that person was John McKibbin. Not only did John come on and become a great leader of the Chamber, he became a great friend----not only to me, but a number of people in our community. In John’s recent role at Identity Clark County, he has continued to reach out to gather leaders from our community to band together to tackle key initiatives to make our community a better place. John truly loves our community and the people he works with," -Lisa Goecke
Paul Montague, Executive Director of the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce
GVCC Staff and hired by John McKibbin
“John hired me onto the Chamber staff in 2005 as the Membership Services Director. John took on the chamber at a very tough point in its history. He was able to reestablish its community leadership role and placed it on sound financial footing for the long term. I was honored by John’s friendship and counted him among the best leaders and mentors that I’ve had throughout my long career. “ –Paul Montague
Carol Keljo, owner of Security Signs
Board Member of John McKibbin's final year
"It was my great pleasure to serve as the Board Chair in John’s last year with the Chamber in 2006. I was also on the Board during his recruitment; and right then I knew that the Chamber had turned a corner. John was instrumental in a significant Chamber ‘renaissance’ during his three years. There really is not a person or project in the community that John hasn’t influenced and or enhanced over his many years in public service. His legacy is larger than life itself; but, ironically, John was one of the most humble, down-to-earth people I have ever known. My heart breaks for him, his wonderful family, and our close-knit business community. This loss is unsurmountable. I remember that when he left the Chamber, I presented him with a custom, neon table-top replica of his plane, and I remember how exited he was. He truly loved his plane and flying. Thank you, John!"
David Horowitz, Retired
Board Member during John McKibbin’s time as CEO
"He was a leader with great foresight and respect. When the Chamber was evolving from its issues in the early 2000’s, he recruited me for the Board. Under his leadership, the Chamber grew and solved most of its issues. He left the Chamber in far better shape than when he started... I first met John (and his wife) when we were moving here in 1981. We were considering the house across the street and they were so warm and friendly, we eventually bought a house in their neighborhood. Our paths have crossed many times since then: most notably when I worked on a committee in the late eighties trying to work out an agreement between the County (John was the County Commissioner) to promote the City’s major annexation. I’m shocked and saddened by the possibilities and Linda and I offer our prayers for Nancy and the McKibbin family.' -Dave Horowitz