Charlottetown chamber of commerce names new executive director

Dave Stewart
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Penny Walsh McGuire has been named new executive director of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Penny Walsh McGuire has been named executive director of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Walsh McGuire will step into her new role on Feb. 8, replacing Kathy Hambly, who announced her retirement late last year.

Hambly will stay on for a period to ensure a smooth transition.

Many Islanders are familiar with Walsh McGuire from her work as executive director of P.E.I. 2014 Inc., the organization that led the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Charlottetown Conference.

“The chamber is excited to have Penny join our team,” said Wendy Drake, president of the chamber.

“Her experience in leadership, marketing and business will prove essential in our continued efforts to promote entrepreneurship in P.E.I., encourage prosperity in our community, and advocate on behalf of our members.”

Walsh McGuire has more than 13 years of experience in both non-profit and corporate organizations. Her roles have included working as vice-president of marketing and partnerships with P.E.I. 2014, chief marketing officer with the Confederation Centre of the Arts and account executive for the advertising agency Young & Rubicam in New York City.

A graduate of UPEI, Walsh McGuire has completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. She also holds a diploma in events and conventions management from Holland College.

Hambly began working with the chamber in 2005 after serving on the board of directors from 1996 to 2004 and as president in 2002.

“My work with the chamber has been so rewarding  that retirement has been a difficult decision,’’ Hambly said back in November. “However, I want to have more time to spend with my family and friends here on Prince Edward Island.’’

During her time with the chamber, Hambly led programs such as Island Advance and P.E.I. Connectors, which encourage economic development in the capital area and the province. In October, Hambly received the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada Executive of the Year award for her excellence in contributions, innovation and management.

Drake said Hambly will be missed.

“She engaged staff and volunteers to create a dynamic, progressive chamber committed to providing value to the membership,’’ Drake said.

The chamber of commerce serves as the voice of business on economic issues for more than 975 members representing more than 17,500 employees in small, medium and large enterprises in the capital region.

Organizations: Holland College, Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, Confederation Centre Young Rubicam Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada Executive

Geographic location: Charlottetown, New York City, Prince Edward Island

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  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 20, 2016 - 13:13

    This poor woman certainly has a challenge in front of her. I wrote this last year just after Loblaws decided to close 52 stores. Now with Walmart closing 270 stores will the Chamber finally concede that retail is dead or dying. According to the Chambers of Commerce life in Canada retail is wonderful, almost blissful. The following are either dead or dysfunctional. Let's see now, journalism .. dead, government .. dysfunctional, retail .. dead (don't tell the PNP ers), healthcare .. (managed disease care) dysfunctional, on and on. Now I am no brain surgeon but I believe the patient is dying. What does the Chamber of Commerce do for the individual Islander? Absolutely nothing. It is a meeting place for the business class on PEI. Most of them don't realize it is just a controlling mechanism on them, their businesses. They take the directives from the mother ship, the Canadian Chamber. It sounds so nice, doesn't it, almost royal? People join the almighty Chamber with the goal of making more profit, by somehow getting a leg up on a business that is not a member. It's another step towards being a member of the BIG CLUB, the professional and political classes of PEI. That's where the real money is, at least for the party faithful, the chamber faithful, and the political faithful.

    • Mary
      January 23, 2016 - 21:39

      Any chance of banning this Bill Kays guy from your site? I have never seen a positive comment from this Mor*n

  • Joe Doe
    January 19, 2016 - 22:09

    I KNEW SHE WOULD GET A BIG JOB,CONGRATULATIONS PENNY.