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Smith, Tucker leaving Chamber
Keith Smith

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Keith Smith is stepping down as executive director of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. His last day is tentatively scheduled as July 15.

Smith began working as part-time Chamber director in October 2011 while hosting the "Morning Edition" program at KRBD, and accepted the full-time position in 2012. He said that when he started as director, the Chamber "needed a part-time person just to kind of hold the life and limbs" of the group together.

Smith said his time on radio made the Chamber a "natural step."

"I was a part of keeping this community conversation going," he said. "I think that it seemed like a really natural step to move into a place that was also very much part of that discussion."

He said the Chamber is working to post the opening for his position, but likely will fill Jenn Tucker’s position first. Tucker is also leaving her position as administrative assistant to spend more time with her family, she said. Her last day will be July 12.

Smith said he’s leaving the organization to write, which he said has been a "life project."

"I really think what this move is to move my life to a place where I can concentrate more energy into that," he said.

He has been a longtime poet, but has been working on two plays for the past several years.

"In writing, there’s a huge difference between 80 percent and 100 percent," Smith said. "It’s a gap I need to figure out how to close."

He chose to stay on past the July Fourth Parade to make the transition to a new director as smooth as possible, he said.