Court Carrier, the executive director of the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, will leave his position in November due to medical issues.
Jim Paino, the chamber’s executive assistant and membership coordinator, will serve as the interim director as the chamber’s board searches for a replacement.
Carrier started with the chamber in 2014 after a 27-year tenure as the program director and instructor for the Mt. Hood Community College hospitality and tourism program. Before then, he spent 20 years in the hospitality industry.
“It has been a joy to work here,” Carrier said. “I’ve been blessed to live in this heavenly place and make significant progress. I’m disappointed, but it’s what I need to do to take care of myself.”
The decision came after the chamber board was already evaluating Carrier’s three-year contract. Chamber President Greg Swedenborg said Carrier didn’t feel he was in a position to extend the contract past the chamber’s fiscal year because of “personal and extended family health reasons.”
“Through discussions with Court, (the board) felt the timing was right to make the change rather than postpone the inevitable for a few quarters,” Swedenborg said in a statement. “Court graciously offered to stay on past his contract date, which will help in the execution of our succession plan.”
Carrier will depart on Nov. 20.
Carrier will be moving back to Portland with his wife to pursue his own medical treatment as well as help take care of other family members facing illness.
In his time as executive director, Carrier helped establish a contract with the city to invest lodging tax revenue for tourism-related marketing support. He also played a large role in organizing celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill.
Ryan Snyder, the Travel Oregon chairman and CEO of Martin North, met Carrier in 1997 when his wife was in one of Carrier’s hospitality classes at Mt. Hood Community College. Through that personal connection grew a professional one when he heard Carrier was chosen for the director position in 2014.
“I was elated when he found out he was going to be executive director, so the emotional pendulum really swung when he told me he was stepping down,” Snyder said. “He’s a tremendous asset to the industry, and his knowledge in tourism has been invaluable to the small town of Cannon Beach — more than people realize.”
City Councilor George Vetter worked with Carrier when he served as a chamber board member, and said that Carrier’s high energy will be “hard to replace.”
“Court has been a great asset to the chamber and to the community. It’s through his energy and leadership that we are competing with other destinations throughout the country and the state,” Vetter said.
In Snyder’s view, what cemented Carrier’s legacy was his ability to get people to work toward a common mission.
“We shared a spirit of love for people and love for sharing experiences,” Snyder said. “He will truly be missed.”