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Ed Wolking Jr. Retiring After 30 Years at Detroit Regional Chamber

DETROIT, June 23, 2016: On Thursday, June 30, Ed Wolking Jr., executive counsel of the Detroit Regional Chamber, will retire after 30 years of service at one of the oldest, largest, and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. Throughout his 45-year career in chamber management, Wolking of Grosse Pointe Park, served as a respected leader with a far-reaching impact in the Detroit region and the national chamber community alike.

“Ed Wolking has touched every department of the Chamber from membership to economic development to health care leadership in his 30 years here,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah. “He is a national treasure in the chamber world, and people are better for not only working with him, but knowing him as a person. Over his career, he has changed the way we do things here in Detroit and at chambers across the nation.”

Joined by friends, family and colleagues, the Detroit Regional Chamber honored Wolking on Monday, June 13 at the Tiger Club in Comerica Park.

“Ed Wolking has had a very long career that touched many lives, in many different ways. During my nearly 16 years in Detroit he was consistently the go-to colleague of mine that made new ideas and visions a reality,” said Dick Blouse, former CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber from 1994 to 2010. “As I look back over his career and our time together I could go on for hours at the many accomplishments. Ed is a constant visionary, a leader, an advisor to me, at times a companion, but mostly a friend.”

Prior to becoming executive vice president, Wolking was the Chamber’s senior vice president of strategic directions, member services and marketing. Since joining the Chamber in 1986, Wolking has held various roles across the organization, as well as developed and implemented the Chamber’s affinity programs, scaling the relationship with Office Depot for chambers across the nation via the National Chamber of Commerce. More recently, he founded and led the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition in response to the region’s economic challenges and led the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation.

“For the past thirty years, it has been my honor to help build and work with one of the great business associations in America, highly respected both within the community and throughout the chamber profession – with visionary volunteer and staff leadership,” said Wolking. “My wife, Mary and I never imagined that we would live in one place for such a long time, but the challenges were always fascinating and the opportunities always abundant, and Detroit has been a great place to raise our family. Detroit is a special place, it has a bright future, and we are proud Detroiters.”

Prior to joining the Detroit Regional Chamber, Wolking served as president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, a manufacturing center in Indiana; group executive at the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, where he created the first small business program and the first state and federal grassroots legislative advocacy programs. In addition, he built from scratch the third largest chamber in the Cincinnati metro region – the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, where he then served as the executive vice president.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members.

For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.