February 4, 2019 – The Board of Directors of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has announced President Randall L. George will retire effective April 1 and Chamber Executive Vice President Anna B. Buckalew has been elected President & CEO effective April 2.
"The Chamber has been richly blessed to have had Randy George leading this organization for the past 30 years as president, and, prior to that, serving for 16 years as head of economic development,” said Board Chairman Willie Durham. “After 46 years of leadership, Randy is known throughout the country in chamber and economic development circles as one of the best in the industry. He has led the Chamber through some of the most transformative years in our region’s history,” continued Durham.
“Working with this Chamber for 46 years has been an honor and a privilege,” said George. “I have been truly blessed to have worked with incredible business and elected leadership and the most talented and dedicated team of professionals any organization could hope for,” said George.
“Given Randy’s tenure, the Chamber began a succession planning process several years ago,” said Durham. “Strong leadership succession is critical to the health of any organization. We were very fortunate that the strongest candidate to succeed President Randy George was already in place, and we will have a seamless transition in April,” said Durham. In 2018, a Transition Committee, chaired by David Reed, Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Board of Goodwyn Mills & Cawood and a former past chairman of the Chamber, was appointed to begin the process of naming George’s successor. “After carefully reviewing the requirements of the position, and after consulting with two independent executive search and management firms, the Transition Committee was unanimous in its decision that Anna’s leadership capacity, combined with her extensive experience and knowledge of the Chamber and the Montgomery area community make her the clear choice to succeed Randy George,” said Reed. Current Board Chairman Willie Durham echoed Reed’s comments. “Anna has worked closely with Randy, the Board and the Executive Committee over many years, and we look forward to what she will bring to the organization as President and CEO. We are confident she possesses the experience, talent, relationships and vision to lead the Chamber moving forward,” said Durham.
Buckalew stated, “I am honored to be named the next President and CEO of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, and I want to thank Randy and the Board for the confidence they have placed in me to lead this trusted organization.”
Joining the Chamber team in 1988 and named executive vice president in 2014, Buckalew’s role has included leadership of major Chamber divisions to include membership, convention & visitor bureau, small and minority business development, education, community development, and military and governmental affairs. As chief of staff and executive vice president, Buckalew has been responsible for staff direction, operations and strategic planning.
Buckalew currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chambers of Commerce Association of Alabama, as well as serving as a director on the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Foundation. She is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institutes for Organization Management (IOM) at the University of Georgia, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama.