Bend Chamber’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Ken Wilhelm


The Bend Chamber has announced the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient of the 2022 Business Excellence Awards, sponsored by U.S. Bank and The Bulletin. The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates the accomplishments of an individual who has had a substantial impact on our local industries and community. The recipient displays a profound level of leadership that has helped steer Bend to economic success while investing back into our community with their time and resources.

The 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Ken Wilhelm. Ken has provided executive leadership for United Way of Central Oregon since 1988. He has had direct responsibility for all business affairs of the organization including strategic planning, fiscal accountability, resource development, community engagement, community impact, staffing and day-to-day operations.

He has been a pillar in the non-profit landscape in Central Oregon, connecting non-profits with needed resources and financial support. Most recently, he oversaw the organization’s expansion from the Greater Bend area to Tri-County, supporting all of Central Oregon. He’s led the effort to develop a collaborative initiative to address childhood trauma and build resilience: TRACEs.

“Ken has been a bedrock leader in our community for well over 30 years,” said Rebecca Berry, Bend Chamber Board Chair. “As the leader of United Way, he has built a culture of giving that has supported the important work of nonprofits throughout the region and improving the lives of so many in our community.”

In addition, Ken built successful fundraising models for United Way of Central Oregon, including leadership and planned giving programs, and the corporate cornerstone program. During his time as Executive Director, he’s led United Way as it raised approximately $30 million in community fundraising. From the 2-1-1 program to Tax Aid, VITA and Thrive have all benefited from Ken’s guidance and mentoring.

Ken recently announced his retirement and the Bend Chamber welcomes you to join us for heavy appetizers, drinks and celebration on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at the Riverhouse Convention Center. We will officially recognize and celebrate Ken for his accomplishments in our community and wish him well in his next journey.

Tickets can be purchased at

It’s a credo. A mission. A goal. A constant reminder that when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. We build the strength of our neighborhoods. We bolster the health of our communities. And we change the lives of those who walk by us every day.