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Mike Corwin, pictured with wife Judy Corwin at the Celebrate Corvallis Awards in January, has been named interim president of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Corwin retired from his executive position at Oregon State Credit Union on Friday, May 3, but he didn’t remain a gentleman of leisure for long.

By the following Monday, May 6, he was back at work — this time as interim president of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce.

“I had all of two days of full retirement,” Corwin said with a rueful chuckle.

His new task: keep the 400-member business development organization running smoothly while a search committee finds a successor for Cooper Whitman, who stepped down last month after 3½ years in the top job to become an economic development specialist for Marion County.

Corwin brings a wealth of business experience to the role of interim chamber president, including 14½ years as assistant vice president of the credit union and 25 years as an associate athletic director at Oregon State University.

He is also a former member of the chamber board of directors and continues to serve on the Government Affairs Committee.

David Dodson, current chair of the chamber's board of directors, said the timing of Corwin's retirement and his long ties to the chamber made him a good fit for the interim president's job.

"He's got 12 years' experience on the chamber board, and three of those years I believe he was the board chair," Dodson said.

"He was also involved in the last recruiting effort, when we brought Cooper on board."

Corwin said he doesn’t expect to spend more than about two months as the chamber’s interim president.

“I’m encouraged by the field of candidates we’ve got for the permanent position,” he said.

The first cut has already been made, with video chat interviews scheduled for this week to narrow the field down to two or three finalists.

“I would hope we’d have somebody on board by July,” Corwin said. “I want to fire myself as soon as possible.”

And after that, it’s on to full retirement — which, for Corwin, means finding a part-time gig to keep him occupied for 15-20 hours a week.

“I’ve got a couple of opportunities locally,” he said.

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Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.


Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald