ASTORIA - Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Roger Rocka and Associate Director John Compere told the Chamber Board of Directors and chamber staff last month that they will retire from their posts in mid-January.

Rocka has been executive director since October 1994. He brought Compere on board as associate director in March 2001, and the two men have shared the leadership job since that time.

"We have been honored and gratified by this chance to work for our community," said Rocka. "And the experience has been especially pleasurable because of our great Chamber staff," added Compere. "Still," said Rocka, "it will be nice to have the time to read a book once in a while and to enjoy some of the things that drew us here in the first place."

Both men lead busy lives aside from their Chamber work. Rocka telecommutes (and sometimes physically commutes) to his 270-seat dinner theater in Fresno, Calif., which he has owned and operated since 1978.

Compere, a psychologist, conducts trainings for various groups and is "chief assistant and gopher" for Astoria Sunday Market, which is managed by his wife, Joyce.

Rocka and Compere will continue many of their activities in the community. Rocka's wife, Jan, is chair of Destination: the Pacific, the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Signature Event to be held in November, 2005. During the next two months, Rocka and Compere will assist in the Chamber's search for a new Executive Director. Resumes are welcome at the Chamber office.

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