Wm. James Mortimer, editor and publisher of the Deseret News, Tuesday was elected chairman of the Board of Governors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for the 1988-89 fiscal year that begins July 1. He succeeds Nick Rose, president and chief executive officer of Mountain Fuel Supply Co.

Mortimer, who is serving as first vice chairman this year, said the next fiscal year will be a continuation of attempts to sell the chamber and increase membership. He also wants to push for cooperation rather than competition among other chambers of commerce in Salt Lake Valley.Part of the chamber's focus in the next fiscal year, as it has been in the current year, will be on the downtown Salt Lake area and how improvements can be made, Mortimer said.

Also elected to the executive committee of the board of governors was W. Mack Lawrence, Utah vice president and chief executive officer of U S West Communications, as first vice chairman, and Dallas H. Bradford, managing partner of the Salt Lake office of Arthur Anderson & Co., second vice chairman.

Selected to serve as vice chairmen were Gerald R. Moffitt, refinery manager for Chevron USA, communications; David L. Gillette, board member and senior tax attorney for Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy, government affairs; and Robert B. Fotheringham, founder and chairman of Fotheringham & Associates, membership.

Others are Stephen B. Nebeker, a member of the executive committee of Ray Quinney & Nebeker, small business/community development; and Rhoda Ramsey, partner in the Ramsey Group, special programs. Fred S. Ball continues as president and general manager.

The board also passed a resolution in support of the Opportunities Industrialization Center, where youths are trained to handle various jobs.

The support was requested by director Lenoris Bush who is pushing a "hire one youth" program among Utah businesses as a means of giving underprivileged young people summer jobs. Bush said up to 85 percent of a youth's summer salary can be used as a tax credit by the employer.