History of Lane Leaders

Founded in 1961, Lane Leaders Association is the oldest executive business association in central Lane County.

Ron Houk of Salem, Oregon originally organized the association as the Eugene Leaders. In December of 1961 it was registered with the Corporate Commissioner of the State of Oregon as a non-profit association.

In 1969, Houk resigned. The membership of 34 firms assumed ownership of the association. They decided that it was time to employ a manager as an executive secretary, and hired long time member Warren Miller, who had previously owned a men's clothing store.

In 1972, with 58 members, Miller resigned and John Bristow was hired to fill the position. One year later, the name was changed to Lane Leaders Association to encompass a greater area of membership. By 1978, the association had grown to more than 100 active members.

In 1982 Bristow resigned as the executive secretary. Rhonda Hendricks was hired, the title was changed to executive director and she held the position for 10 years. From 1991 to 1998, three others have been executive directors. The last, Doug Dill, retired in 1998 and is an honorary member. Rhonda Hendricks returned as executive director in June 1998. In the past 10 years, the association has had continued growth with an active membership exceeding 150 firms.