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Dinegar to step down from Board of Trade

The Greater Washington Board of Trade plans to hire a search firm


May 12, 2017
By Lori Sharn

The CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade announced May 8 that he would step down later this year, in a phased transition that will allow him to spend more time with his teenaged children.  Jim Dinegar has led the organization since 2006.

The children’s mother and Dinegar’s ex-wife, Marcia Mary Richards, died in February following a long battle with breast cancer.

“Now is a difficult time, and you just don’t get that time back,” Dinegar said.
“This is all still fresh and new. I was very happy and proud of the work at Board of Trade (but) the demands are morning, noon and night. … It’s such a relationship-heavy job, it’s hard to put it in there at 100 percent instead of 150 percent.”

Dinegar said he intends to slow down during the summer as his 17-year-old daughter starts looking at colleges and his 13-year-old son prepares for high school.  He told the Board of Trade he would stay through Oct. 31 to smooth the transition. The organization plans to hire a search firm and “cast a wide net.”

“Jim has served our organization for over a decade as a respected, passionate advocate for the business community, restoring the Board of Trade to a strengthened position of relevance and effectiveness,” said Board of Trade Chairman Terry McCallister in a news release.

“We understand and fully support his need to press pause on a successful career to focus on his family at this critical time.”

Dinegar said the Board of Trade made a decision about 10 years ago to target larger regional companies as members rather than smaller and more local ones.  As a result, the number of members did decline—to about 400 now—but revenue of the group went up because the larger companies pay more dues. Revenue of the organization in 2015 totaled $4.6 million.

The group’s strategic plan focuses on smart cities and issues of longer-term regional importance, he said.

One of the biggest concerns now is how to fix and fund the metro area’s public transit system. The Board of Trade is advocating for a dedicated, sustainable source of funding.

Dinegar said he will return to full-time work when both he and his children are ready. He was previously COO of the American Institute of Architects for six years and vice president of government relations for two years. He also worked in government relations at Building Owners and Managers Association International and ASAE.