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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber president and CEO, speaks at a roundtable discussion on City Creek’s impact on downtown Salt Lake City at the CBC Advisors office in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Linda Wardell, City Creek Center general manager, is on the right.

SALT LAKE CITY — After nearly 15 years in the corner office of the state's largest business organization, Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and the Downtown Alliance, has announced his planned retirement.

“I cannot express how grateful I am to have been able to lead this great organization for the last 15 years," Beattie told the chamber's board of directors this week.

State leaders praised Beattie's leadership and devotion to building up the Utah business community.

"Lane Beattie's positive impact on our state is immeasurable," Gov. Gary Herbert said. "His efforts have been pivotal to Utah's growth and economic development, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity of working beside him. I think the world of Lane Beattie, and congratulate him on a retirement well-earned."

Derek Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center, noted that "Utah became an economic powerhouse as the strongest- and fastest-growing economy in the nation" during Beattie's tenure.

"This did not happen by accident or coincidence," Miller said. "As the head of the organization that is the voice of business for Utah, Lane was an essential leader at the right time. Under his stewardship, not only did the chamber rise in stature, so did Utah."

"Beattie has achieved legendary status in Utah’s business community," said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

"For 15 years, he has been the voice of business and the person to whom the legislature has looked for guidance on business issues," he said. "It is hard to imagine the Salt Lake Chamber without Lane at the helm. He will be missed."

When Beattie took the job in July 2003, his plan was to stay for a couple of years, he said.

"But two years turned into five, five turned into 10, and I just couldn’t pull myself away from all of the exciting progress we were making here at the chamber,” Beattie said.

“None of the successes of the Salt Lake Chamber and the Downtown Alliance would have been possible without the dedication and participation of this state’s business community," he said. "By working together, we have accomplished many great things, and I have no doubt that with the continued leadership of our board, the engagement of our business leaders and the commitment from this great staff that those successes will continue for many years to come.”

Beattie took the helm at the Salt Lake Chamber in 2003. During his tenure, he created the Downtown Rising vision and helped to advance several large projects, including City Creek Center, 222 South Main, Salt Lake City’s Public Safety Building and Eccles Theater, along with regional light- and commuter-rail lines to support downtown’s growth.

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“As president of the Downtown Alliance, Lane has been our city center’s biggest cheerleader,” said Molly Mazzolini, Downtown Alliance board chairwoman. “He understands the urban center’s role in building a strong regional economy and has been a tireless advocate for creating a dynamic and diverse downtown community.”

The organization has assembled a committee to begin the search for Beattie’s replacement immediately, a news release stated. Until that time, Beattie will remain in his current role.