Boise Metro Chamber president to retire

Bill Connors, president and CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, plans to retire after a 15-year career with the Chamber. (Photo provided.)

Bill Connors, president and CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Idaho’s largest business association in Idaho, has announced his intention to retire after a 15-year career with the Chamber.

Under his leadership, the chamber weathered inflation and its effects along with COVID-19 pandemic, and he successfully managed the financial operations of the chamber over the years.

Connors will retire as the longest serving CEO in the organization’s 146-year history. He began his tenure with the chamber in 2009 and will end his leadership career with the Chamber on December 31, 2023.

Connors has been working with the executive board for the past three years on a succession plan and retirement strategy. Under the chairmanship of Odette Bolano, CEO of Saint Alphonsus Health System, a search committee has been established of which Connors will be an active contributor to the process of identifying a successor. 

“While it is bittersweet to announce Bill’s retirement, we are forever grateful for all that Bill has accomplished over this tenure,” Bolano said. “He leaves a legacy which will not be forgotten and a very successful and effective business advocacy organization for his successor.”

Connors has advocated for expanded transportation, air service to and from Boise, and is currently working on bringing Amtrak service back to the Treasure Valley. He is also a strong supporter of small business, travel and tourism industries, sports teams and arts organizations.

Over the years, the Chamber’s advocacy helped pass legislative incentives to attract aerospace companies, data centers, microchip production and advanced manufacturing, bringing thousands of highly paid jobs and scores of businesses to Idaho.

Under his leadership, the Chamber began its Annual Gala, introduced Industry Sector Boards, started New Member and New Valley CEO receptions, merged the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau into the organization, and rebuilt the Boise Valley Economic Partnership structure. 

The Chamber also expanded the Boise Young Professionals network, started a Hall of Fame Program, founded a 501c3 Foundation, designed and built its new headquarters building in Downtown Boise, and recently added a Boise gift shop and visitor’s center.