Executive of the Year Award

Ken Oplinger, ACE

(L-R) Ken Oplinger, ACE, President/CEO of the Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region (CA) receives the 2014 Executive of the Year Award from Tom Pierson, ACE, President/CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County (WA) Chamber.

The Executive of the Year Award recognizes a chamber CEO for outstanding performance over the last year. Candidates are judged in five areas of expertise including finance, communications, legislative action, and membership services performed by the chamber.

Tom Pierson, ACE presented the award with the following remarks:

I am honored to present to you the Executive of the Year.  Cleary the award recipient that you will meet shortly exceeded in all 5 areas, here is how he or she was described by local leaders in their community:

  • Highly Intuitive
  • Possesses tremendous intelligence
  • An excellent communicator
  • Strong yet balance negotiator
  • Strong finance acumen
  • Inspirational leader
  • Positioned the chamber as the “go to organization”

 Here is a long list of items this Chamber CEO has accomplished in the past year…pretty sure he or she lives at the chamber office full time – any one of these would be a huge accomplishment but having tackled all of these has set this individual into a new level:

  • Established a new local guide and membership directory
  • Created a collaborative environment for all business minded organizations in the area
  • Established a Membership Event and attracted nearly 150 new members and $63,000
  • Dramatically improved the sophistication and attendance of events that were also mission driven events
  • New Bylaws
  • Statement of Principles and Policy Statements
  • Board Expansion and created term limits
  • Improved finances from a net loss position to net positive with reserves
  • Led strongly on advocacy issues on all levels
  • Established a new name and logo
  • Created the business plan for a collaborative lead private sector led county wide Economic Vitality Development entity in the county.

 With all of that it is my great pleasure to introduce to you the WACE Executive of the Year …… Ken Oplinger.

2015 Executive of the Year Application Form 


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