Anchorage Chamber Announces New President/CEO

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September 25, 2023
ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the hiring of the new President/CEO, Kathleen McArdle.

Kathleen comes to the Anchorage Chamber after rising through the ranks for 13 years at Verizon, a Fortune 26 company, and contributing locally to their Alaska business launch and operations. Her responsibilities included a wide range of projects impacting the organization, supporting sales operations, wireless network experience, local marketing, as well as managing Verizon’s employee volunteers and grant funding. Kathleen brings dual academic qualifications, with an MBA and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. Prior to Verizon, she practiced counseling as a licensed therapist with individuals and groups in clinical settings. Raised by entrepreneurial parents, she was exposed early to the realities of small business ownership and the value of resilience and creativity.

Since moving to Alaska nearly 10 years ago, Kathleen has been an active volunteer within the Anchorage community. Such activity includes serving on the boards of the Anchorage Community Concert Band, where she also performs on tenor saxophone, and the Anchorage Opera Board of Trustees. In addition, she has dedicated time to supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs - Alaska, Camp Fire Alaska, and the Anchorage Senior Activity Center.

Ryann Swalling, Chair of the Anchorage Chamber Board of Directors, shared that the board chose Kathleen due to her varied business experience in small business, professional services, and corporate landscapes; her personable professionalism; and data-driven idea generation.

“Kathleen holds a passion for a thriving Anchorage business community, which is quite evident when she discusses the Chamber and its mission for Advancing Business. Advancing Anchorage.,” Swalling states. “The board is excited to welcome her and her energy to lead our organization, and members, to continued excellence.”

Kathleen brings a whole-person, relationship-oriented approach to integrating business and community. Her empathy and strategic vision allow her to anticipate and prevent obstacles, building trusting partnerships. She plans to bring her servant-leadership philosophy to grow business with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.

Kathleen is well versed in the mission and opportunities provided through the Chamber. She was an active member in her previous role at Verizon. In particular, the Young Professionals Group has been a point of pride and passion for Kathleen, since serving on the e-board as membership chair, and as a volunteer supporting the 2023 Alaska Young Professional Summit. The opportunity to connect and develop alongside this diverse and energetic cross-section of Anchorage’s professional community has provided her invaluable insight and growth opportunities. In addition to her experience supporting state and local government accounts, Kathleen has been following the local legislative developments impacting the Anchorage business environment and looks forward to working more closely with municipal and state governing bodies to advocate for the interests of Anchorage Chamber members during upcoming sessions.

Since moving to Anchorage from Phoenix, Kathleen and her husband, and their two dogs, have fallen in love with the vibrant and welcoming environment that Anchorage provides.

Kathleen begins her new role on October 2, 2023, and will be formally introduced at the “Make it Monday” forum at the Dena’ina Center.