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Chamber president Hicks named region's top executive

Brad Hicks, president and chief executive of The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County has been named "Executive of the Year" by the Western Association of Chamber Executives at its annual conference in Las Vegas.

Award winners are recognized for their expertise in financial management, communications, legislative affairs, membership programs and community service. WACE has more than 850 members and is the largest regional association of its kind in the nation.

"I don't know how other people perceive themselves, but I consider myself fortunate that my family let me do this crazy job," Hicks said. "I've had many mentors and a supportive board to let me run the organization like a business, and I have the best chamber staff in the country."

Hicks graduated from North Valley High School in 1983 and earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Southern Oregon University in 1987.

Hicks worked for several state legislators as well as U.S. Rep. Denny Smith. He went to work as marketing director for the chamber in 1993.

He said many of his ideas for the organization were years in the making.

"The first five years I was at the chamber, I had one picture hanging on my wall," Hicks said. "It was a picture of Abraham Lincoln with the word 'perseverance.' I suppose that epitomizes my approach."

He said his mom often told him that he understood the meaning of "no" simply as "not right now."

"I'm a patient guy and never had intentions of going anywhere else," Hicks said. "Rome wasn't built in a day and I've adopted that approach for the chamber. We'll take as much time as we need."

Chamber president Hicks named region's top executive