President/CEO Announced at Beaverton Chamber of Commerce

September 24th, 2021

BEAVERTON, Ore. (Sept. 24, 2021)  – Leaders and the Board of Directors of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce unanimously chose Alicia Bermes, M.A. as the Chamber’s new President/CEO. Bermes, a longtime executive with Chamber expertise, is taking over from interim President/CEO Stephen Smelley and stepped in last week.

“After an outpouring of interest, an extensive national search and many interviews with some very talented people, we are excited to welcome Alicia,” said the Chamber’s 2021 Board Chair, Keith Wright, who owns Century 21/Wright & Associates Realty.

Bermes takes the helm from serving as executive director at the Chamber of Commerce in Niles (Illinois), a growing suburb of Chicago. Prior to her work at Niles, Bermes headed up the Frankfort (Illinois) chamber. “At both Chambers, Alicia brought tremendous membership growth and a focus on strategic planning along with execution to deliver member value for her local business communities,” noted Wright.


“She is an enthusiastic and engaged supporter of Chamber members and wherever she goes, picks her businesses to trade with through local Chamber member lists.”

“This is an extraordinary opportunity here with the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, its staff and leadership,” said Bermes. “Our business community here and around the country has been challenged over the past 18 months, but I believe whenever there is change there is opportunity. We see this as an important time for implementing a strategic change to better serve our members and to grow the local voice of commerce for our regional businesses, organizations and leaders here in the western Washington County community.”

Throughout the past one and a half years, hundreds of businesses were surveyed which showed immediate and serious impacts to firms in and around Beaverton, including current and future revenue impact, staff/coverage concerns, and disquiet to overall operations.

During this time, Chamber leadership and staff have integrated closely with the City of Beaverton economic development team fortify the Chamber’s Impact Beaverton program and launch the local Business Recovery Center.

“We’ve also worked closely with other Chambers in Washington County to help each other and to collaborate so south and west metro area firms and organizations could get the support they needed to stay strong during the pandemic,” added Wright.

Bermes comes to a financially sound and stable organization, with strength in its financial base and loyalty in its membership rolls. Recent membership growth and financials show the Chamber is operating with strong revenue and positive returns.

Local businesses can discover resources and programs for support and success at the Chamber’s Website, Business can also access the area’s Business Recovery Center at the Chamber at (503) 644-0123 or by emailing the Chamber at

About Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce

The BACC’s 6,363 members and 392 partners represent more 132,000 employees. The chamber is a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers and a champion of our community.  BACC strategically leads business development and retention, advocates sound public policy and provides innovative member services to sustain and enhance our vibrant and diverse community.


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