He joined the CalChamber staff in December 1988 after more than 11 years in local chamber of commerce management.
For the last 20 years, he has worked with CalChamber major members, served as CalChamber corporate secretary and coordinated CalChamber Board relations.
CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera voiced gratitude for Kilby’s leadership. “Dave is an institution at CalChamber who is nothing short of passionate about local chamber excellence,” she said. “Our Board members, staff and California’s business community are indebted to Dave for his dedication, work ethic and commitment over his long and exceptional career.”
Kilby has communicated extensively with California businesses through travel and speaking engagements, developing and implementing an extensive outreach program for members, potential members and grassroots contacts.
He has coordinated local chamber relations, grassroots legislative action efforts, the CalChamber’s weekly legislative conference call and the annual business legislative summit.
Chamber of Commerce Professional
Kilby also served as president/CEO of the Western Association of Chamber Executives, the premier organization for education and professional development for chamber executives and staff. W.A.C.E. represents more than 800 chamber professionals in 21 Western states and Canada.
Veterans of the chamber community had high praise for Kilby and 21 of the past chairs of W.A.C.E. joined the association’s conference in Sacramento, February 13–15 to recognize his achievements.
“Dave’s fingerprints are everywhere when it comes to all things chambers of commerce professional development, and the impacts he has had on so many throughout his time leading our association,” said 2022–2023 chair Jeremy Harris of the Long Beach Area Chamber in a February W.A.C.E. newsletter article dedicated to Kilby.
Kilby wrote what he described as “a paperback mentor for chamber professionals,” Chamber Champions: Wisdom for the Ages, written for and published in 2019 by W.A.C.E. The book captured advice “for those who will be leading chambers of commerce in the years ahead from those who have led and shaped the chamber industry for the past several decades.”
Kilby holds a B.A. in political science from California State University, Fresno. He started his career in chamber work in 1977, serving as CEO of the Modesto Chamber just before being tapped to join the CalChamber team.
He is a graduate and former chair of the U.S. Chamber Institutes for Organization Management program and served as 1996 chairman for the Western Institute at UCLA. He also is a member of the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100.
Kilby has been an instructor at W.A.C.E.’s Academy program and Institute and a frequent presenter at chamber executive associations throughout the United States.
The CalChamber salutes and thanks Kilby for his many years of service to the CalChamber and the business community in California and the West. His daily presence will be missed; his influence will continue for many years to come.