The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has selected former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland to head the regional business association. Strickland served eight years as mayor of Tacoma, during which she was a leader on regional transportation, education and economic development issues.
“We are delighted to welcome Marilyn as the next president and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber,” said Heather Redman, chair of the Chamber’s Board of Trustees. “Marilyn is known and respected throughout the Puget Sound region as an effective advocate for economic competitiveness. She’s fearless about taking on challenges in a collaborative way—a trait that will be essential as our region works through issues such as education, housing, and transportation, all of which have big implications for our long-term prosperity. Marilyn will be a strong voice for the economic conditions necessary for continued job growth for people in our region, especially as we face growing competition from around the globe.”
Strickland was selected following an extensive process that identified more than 50 prospective candidates from throughout the United States.
“I am incredibly excited to take on this role,” Strickland said. “One of my top priorities will be working with business, government and non-profit leaders toward solutions that keep our region globally competitive.” She added, “A strong, vibrant business environment is key to addressing the challenges that we face. Businesses of all sizes are an essential part of our community: in addition to the jobs they create and their place in the fabric of our neighborhoods, they drive investments that benefit us all. For example, in the city of Seattle, businesses generate over 50 percent of the tax revenue for the general fund.”
Before her election as mayor, Strickland served on the Tacoma City Council. Prior to public service, she held management positions with the American Cancer Society, Starbucks Coffee Company and JayRay Communications. Strickland was born in Seoul, South Korea and graduated from the University of Washington and then earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Clark-Atlanta University.
Strickland will start as President and CEO the week of Feb. 19.