Kalispell Chamber Announces Search for New Chief Executive Officer
Joe Unterreiner celebrates completion of 24 years of continued service, growth with Chamber
The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce announced today that its president and CEO, Joe Unterreiner, after 24 years of continued service to the Chamber, intends to work with the Chamber’s board of directors to find and transition in his replacement. The goal is to complete the transition by October 2020. The Chamber named Mike Smith, Senior Vice President of Glacier Bank, to chair a search for Unterreiner’s successor.
“I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the outstanding leadership the Chamber has had over the years, especially to my board chairs,” said Joe Unterreiner. “The Chamber Board is committed to the success of their business environment and their vision has led to substantial growth of the organization and the community we serve over the past two decades.”
Under Unterreiner’s leadership, the Chamber placed a major emphasis on manufacturing and innovation, infrastructure development, tourism, downtown, and growth as a regional trade center. The Chamber also placed significant focus on public policy and government relations, leading to strong positive momentum for the Kalispell community. Some of the projects the Kalispell Chamber led and helped support during his tenure include the completion of the Kalispell Bypass, the creation of the Kalispell tourism district and Discover Kalispell brand, expanded air service, and expanded education and workforce opportunities for area youth. The Kalispell Chamber has been recognized by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives as a top three chamber in the U.S. for its size category twice in the last four years.
“During Joe’s 24-year tenure, he has been a tremendous value driver for Kalispell Chamber members and for all of the Flathead Valley,” said Tom Ray, Kalispell Chamber Board Chairman and Weyerhaeuser Montana Region Manager.
Unterreiner began his career working in Washington D.C. at the Executive Office of the President in the Reagan Administration and with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Subsequent assignments took him to the American Embassy in Athens, Greece, and on to commercial real estate leasing and financing in the Southern California area until he was named as the Kalispell Chamber CEO in 1996.
“This is an important transition during uncertain times, which is why I have offered the Chamber Board my assurance that I will remain in my position until fall as we navigate the complexities of COVID-19 together,” Unterreiner said. “In the meantime, we have some important and exciting projects to complete or handoff to the next chamber president including the transitions to Phases 2 & 3 of reopening the local economy and helping drive re-employment and investment in Kalispell and the Flathead Valley.”
Founded in 1904, the Kalispell Chamber is a business advocacy organization comprised of 725 member businesses and organizations representing a network of over 5,000 owners and managers of businesses. These members employ 60 percent of the workforce in Flathead County, Montana.