Former chamber of commerce president dies

Donna Cantonwine Wend worked at Vancouver chamber

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

Updated: February 17, 2012, 3:08 PM

 

Donna Cantonwine Wend, who led the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce for 11 years, died Thursday in Mesa, Ariz., where she was spending the winter.

Cantonwine Wend was 81. The cause of death was not disclosed. She is survived by her husband, Ward Blakeslee. They had been married six years.

Cantonwine Wend worked as a chamber employee from 1969 forward, serving as its top-paid executive from 1981 to 1992. At that time, the organization served 1,050 members and was the largest business group in Clark County, as it still is today with 1,100 members.

“Donna was a real force,” said Steve Horenstein, a Vancouver attorney with Horenstein Law Group, who served as the chamber’s board chairman when Cantonwine Wend was the group’s executive leader.

Horenstein said he worked with Cantonwine Wend to launch two community groups, Leadership Clark County, designed to produce new community leaders, and Identity Clark County, which focuses on economic development initiatives for the region.

“Those are two milestones that live on today,” Horenstein said.

Cantonwine Wend is survived by two sons, Richard Cantonwine and Randy Cantonwine, as well as two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.