Chamber of Commerce Executive to Retire

DAYTON, Ohio (November 20, 2019) – The Officers and Board of Trustees of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce have announced their president and CEO, Phillip L. Parker, CAE, CCE, will retire July 31, 2020.

“After more than 31 years of service to the organization, first as an active volunteer for four years and then more than 26 years as the CEO, Phil has led the chamber through many of our business community’s critical initiatives and issues,” said chamber board chair Mark Williams, Elements IV Interiors.

During his tenure as the chamber’s top leader, Parker has achieved many career-defining accomplishments. Most notably, Parker led the organization to be named one of the “Nation’s Best Chambers” and a nationally 5-star-rated respected organization by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and Parker’s peer groups.

As a leader of a staff of 27 and one of the oldest and largest chambers in the nation, the organization has led many transportation initiatives, including the fix of I-75’s ‘malfunction junction’ in downtown Dayton, the Austin Boulevard development, and improvements to US Route 35 and I-70. The chamber has also been heavily focused on employer issues including tax policy, workforce, education, safety and economic development.

During Parker’s tenure at the chamber and his previous work at the Home Builders Association, it is estimated that Parker has touched the business development of more than 10,000 area organizations.

Parker is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Political Science and holds an MBA from the University of Dayton. Parker received his Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designations during that time. He was named a Ford Fellow for community sustainability in 2009, is a graduate of Leadership Dayton, Leadership Ohio, and the U. S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management. He has also been a registered lobbyist for the region since 1990.

Parker is highly regarded by his peers and was named Ohio Professional of the Year in 1997. The Dayton Area Chamber was named the Nation’s Best Chamber in 1998-99 and twice since named runner-up by the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

Additionally, during his 45 years of local community volunteer service, Parker has been named one of the Five Outstanding Young Men in Ohio, one of the top Jaycees in America, a recipient of the Scottish Rite’s 33rd degree, and was the 2016 recipient of the The Presidents Club’s Citizen Legion of Honor award, given to the region’s top volunteers. Parker continues to be active in the American Red Cross, Freemasonry, and is on the boards of 10 local not-for-profit organizations serving the Dayton area. Parker and his wife Donna live in Beavercreek where their children and grandchildren continue to reside.

“It has been a blessing to lead our chamber of commerce,” Parker said. “Representing our business community has been one of the most important callings in my entire life. I have been honored by our community and its business and elected leaders to have served in a role that would be beneficial to thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of our local citizens and employees.”

Board Chair Williams is working with Parker on a transition plan and has already shared with the Board of Trustees the plan to move forward. Williams has convened and announced a special CEO Selection Committee that will be led by former chamber board chair Kevin Weckesser. The committee, made up of active and informed chamber leaders, is meeting to create a clear path forward, well in advance of Parker’s departure at the end of July 2020.

“We thank Phil for his commitment to our region’s chamber and the respect he has shown in giving us plenty of time to do our work in identifying his replacement,” Williams said.

The committee will post the information about the confidential application process on the chamber’s website on December 13, 2019. Questions or comments can be directed to Chamber Board Chair Mark Williams, owner of Elements IV Interiors, at 937-918-1000.

About the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce brings together more than 2,200 businesses and organizations in a 9 county area surrounding Dayton, Ohio. The Chamber strives to improve the region’s business climate and overall standard of living through public policy advocacy, economic development initiatives and providing networking and training opportunities for its members. Nationally awarded with “5-Star Accreditation” from the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Dayton Chamber is widely recognized for its innovative programs and outstanding contribution to positive change in the region. Information about the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is available at or 937-226-1444.

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