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Chamber of Commerce announces new President & CEO

Chamber of Commerce announces new President & CEO

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A new President and CEO has been chosen for The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Karen Riordan, the current President & CEO of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, was announced as the new leader at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Riordan said during her brief comments that her first full day will be August 20th, but she will be in the area over the next few weeks to “meet as many people as humanly possible.”

The full news conference can be watched in the player below.

She had been with the chamber in Virginia since 2014 and has over 25 years of marketing and leadership experience, according to a news release from the MBACC.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to lead business and tourism growth in this amazing destination,” Riordan said in the release. “This move allows me to lead the next chapter of phenomenal tourism success for the area, while serving a vibrant business community with over 2,800 chamber investors. Like the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, it is a very special model that has the chamber of commerce leading all business and tourism initiatives to grow economic impact and support the community.”

Brad Dean resigned as the chamber President and CEO in March to take a job as the CEO of the new Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization. He had served as the leader of the MBACC for 15 years.

Carla Schuessler, chair of MBACC’s board of directors, said “this is a perfect time for Karen Riordan to become the chamber’s next president and CEO. After a rigorous nationwide executive search, we’ve selected a very strong leader at a time when the chamber is in a very strong position following years of exceptional growth.”

Prior to the Williamsburg chamber, Riordan worked at top creative advertising agencies, including Arnold Worldwide, SmithGifford, Pagano Schenck & Kay, and Hill Holliday in Boston and Washington, D.C. Over the course of her career she has led marketing campaigns for leading tourism brands, including Visit Williamsburg, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Amtrak, Choice Hotels International and Celebrity Cruises.

“We all felt energized by Karen and knew she would be a success due to her visible and contagious passion for Myrtle Beach,” said Jim Creel Jr., chair of the Search Committee.

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