In the music industry there’s the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.
In sports there’s the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
In W.A.C.E., our version of a Hall of Fame is Life Membership.
Over the 96-year history of the association, we’ve had (as best I can figure) a total of 75 life members. At the start of 2020, we had 26 current living members of this illustrious group of Chamber Champions.
Last month, our Hall of Fame grew with the W.A.C.E. Board approving Life Memberships for two very deserving chamber professionals: Randy Gordon and Kathy Tilque.
While it will not do them justice, below is a quick highlight summary.
37-plus years as a chamber CEO; 26 years at the Long Beach Area (CA) Chamber; member of the W.A.C.E. Board 1996–2003 and chair in 2002; Conference Chair 1999; Executive of the Year 1995; Pettit Award recipient in 2000, past chair of the Southern California Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (SCACCE) and former W.A.C.E. Foundation Board member; Accredited Chamber Executive recipient in 1996 and renewed four times.
32 years in the chamber business; 24 years as the CEO of the Gilbert (AZ) Chamber; member of the W.A.C.E. Board 2000–2006; Conference Chair in 2004; W.A.C.E. Outstanding Program Award recipient in 2016 and 2018; one of the first to embrace W.A.C.E.’s 3C Chamber Brand research; past chair of Arizona Chamber Executives; Accredited Chamber Executive recipient in 2004.
Writing this article reminds me of the importance for all of you to have mentors you can turn to and who will give you honest advice, even if you don’t like hearing what they tell you.
Randy Gordon and Kathy Tilque have been mentors and truth tellers for many chamber executives. W.A.C.E., the chamber industry and chamber professionals all around the West are much better because of their leadership.
Congratulations to Randy and Kathy!
The current plan is to present them with their Life Memberships at the 2021 annual conference in Las Vegas.
Dave Kilby is president and CEO of W.A.C.E. and executive vice president of corporate affairs at the California Chamber.