Kalispell Chamber Selects New President and CEO

Lorraine Clarno of Beaverton, Oregon will start at the Chamber in October

By Maggie Dresser
Lorraine Clarno is the new president of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce. She will take over as president of the organization in November 2020. Courtesy photo.

On Oct. 12, President and CEO of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce Convention and Bureau Center Joe Unterriner will pass the torch to Lorraine Clarno of Beaverton, Oregon, after a nationwide search was conducted to find his replacement.

Clarno served a 20-year tenure as CEO at the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, a suburb outside of Portland.

In Oregon, Clarno helped create IMPACT Beaverton, an economic partnership with the city to serve 500 micro and small business startups.

“From startups to well established businesses, it’s given resources we’ve needed to develop a cadre of experts … it’s been really successful and put Beaverton on the map as an innovation center.”

Clarno also started 100 Women Strong, a mentorship group of professional women, established the Beaverton Business Recovery Center to help businesses in the COVID-19 pandemic and she was the founder of the save Small Business Coalition, a national group of trade associations.

Following Unterriner’s retirement announcement, the Board of Directors of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce collaborated with LC Staffing, a local staffing firm, to find his successor. He had been with the organization since 1996.

“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,” said Tom Ray, current Chairman of the Board for the Kalispell Chamber, in a statement. “As a board, we are eager to begin with Lorraine at the helm.”

Clarno is looking forward to moving to Kalispell this fall, and she excited to bring her experience with her to develop economic programs and workforce development.

“I don’t intend to bring Beaverton to Kalispell,” she said. “What I can bring is institutional and management knowledge to assist in creating a vibrant downtown and vibrant community.”

Clarno will oversee the chamber’s staff of 11 and report to the four-member executive committee and 26-member board of directors. She will also supervise the chamber’s initiatives, including education, workforce development, strengthening local manufacturing and building upon infrastructure.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce consists of 725 businesses and organizations, employing 60% of Flathead County’s workforce.

maggie@flatheadbeacon.com

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