Kalispell Chamber Names New President/CEO
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce Names New President/CEO
After conducting a national search, the Board of Directors of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce has selected Lorraine Clarno of Beaverton, Oregon as the organization’s new President/CEO. Clarno will officially start with the organization on October 12 and take over as President/CEO mid-November.
Throughout her 20-year tenure as CEO of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, Clarno secured significant gains for the Portland-area suburb and grew the organization to the largest inclusive chamber of commerce in the state of Oregon. She created IMPACT Beaverton - an economic partnership with the City of Beaverton to serve micro and small business startups, started 100 Women Strong – a mentorship and charitable-minded group of professional women, established the Beaverton Business Recovery Center to help businesses reopen and deal with COVID-19 challenges, and was a founder of the Save Small Business Coalition – a national group of trade associations who seek solutions to fund and ensure business survival.
Clarno has previously spent time in the Flathead Valley, and after an in-depth city-wide tour in August is eager to get to work.
“I am so excited and ready to immerse myself in Kalispell and the Flathead Valley. Kalispell is well on its way to great heights, bringing more jobs and economic vitality to the beautiful and vibrant area. Downtown Kalispell is a gem with so much rich potential. I hope to play a small part in establishing a community vision over the next few years by working with property and business owners to create an even more vibrant and bustling area,” she said.
The Kalispell Chamber organized a search committee of business leaders earlier this summer and partnered with local staffing firm, LC Staffing, to find a successor for current President/CEO Joe Unterreiner, who has been with the organization since 1996. Joe announced his intent to step down from his current role earlier this year.
“Lorraine has demonstrated both the ability to build a strong organization over time and the capacity to pivot and provide exceptional value during unprecedented times, most recently in the face of COVID-19. Her visionary leadership will be of incredible value here in Kalispell. As a board, we are eager to begin with Lorraine at the helm,” said Tom Ray, current Chairman of the Board for the Kalispell Chamber.
Upon taking over, Clarno will oversee the organization’s staff of 11 and report to the chamber’s four-member executive committee and 26-member board of directors. In addition to supervising the chamber’s initiatives, which currently include major focuses on education and workforce development, growing Kalispell as a regional trade center, promoting an active and vibrant downtown, strengthening local manufacturing and innovation, and building on infrastructure momentum, Clarno will also oversee Discover Kalispell, the official tourism marketing agency for Kalispell.
About the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau
Founded 1904, the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau is the leading voice in strengthening our community and the business climate, with the goal of making Kalispell and the Flathead Valley an ideal location to live and work. The Chamber consists of 725 businesses and organizations, which employ 60% of the workforce in Flathead County, Montana.