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West County Chamber Hires New CEO


Raj Kudchadkar to join Chamber as Chief Executive Officer on November 1, 2016

ODENTON, MARYLAND, October 28, 2016 — The West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (West County Chamber) is pleased to announce that it has hired Raj Kudchadkar as the Chamber’s new Chief Executive Officer effective November 1, 2016.

“We are extremely pleased to find someone of Raj’s qualifications to take over leadership of the West County Chamber at a time of dynamic growth and change for Anne Arundel County and for Central Maryland,” said West County Chamber Board Chairman Randy Fisher. “His previous involvement with Fort Meade through the Base Business Initiative, his governmental experience through Howard County as well as his vast contacts throughout Anne Arundel County make him a natural choice to succeed Claire Louder as our next CEO.”

Kudchadkar is the current Deputy Director of the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Howard County Office of Military Affairs and Director of the Base Business Initiative.

Raj helped establish and run a successful small business development program that started with 20 minority businesses and grew to over 3,000 members in less than 2 years,” Fisher said.“He has the type of entrepreneurial spirit that any Chamber would want. We are pleased that West County has found someone with this type of tremendous talent. We look forward to his leadership to help guide both West County in the near term and help take the Chamber to the next level in the future.”

“Western Anne Arundel County has a trifecta of assets – Fort Meade, Live! Casino, and Odenton Town Center – that represent some of the largest economic engines in Maryland,” said Kudchadkar. “Such regional economic growth doesn’t happen on its own – a productive chamber is needed to bring together key resources and stakeholders to support and cultivate a vibrant business community. The West County Chamber is such a chamber and I couldn’t be more excited to lead this organization into the future.”

Kudchadkar replaces Claire Louder as CEO. Louder has been CEO of West County Chamber since February of 2007. Louder announced her plan to resign in December of 2015 in order to join her husband in South Carolina once West County could implement a suitable transition.

“Claire has been an integral force in the development of the Chamber ever since she joined the Chamber nearly 10 years ago,” Fisher said. “She has equally been key to the Chamber’s success in finding her replacement. The Chamber will benefit for years to come because of her work in revitalizing the Chamber and her help in taking it to the next level.”

Louder plans to work as a consultant to various non-profit organizations throughout the country in her new role as president of Louder Nonprofit Strategies, LLC.

“I can’t think of anyone better than Raj to take over the leadership of the West County Chamber and build on what we’ve started,” said outgoing CEO Claire Louder. “Having worked with Raj for years on BRAC initiatives, I know he will quickly grasp the issues important to our members, and will take the organization to the next level.”

About the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce

The West County Chamber of Commerce is located in the western portion of Anne Arundel County.  This Chamber proudly serves just over 400 member businesses.  The collaborative efforts of this very effective Chamber with local and member businesses, state and local governments, along with the military have produced results on par with those of much larger Chambers.

The West County Chamber is a proven advocate for the West County economy, including development of the Odenton Town Center, growth at Fort Meade, expansion at Arundel Mills, and funding of the public infrastructure needed to support all of it. They actively work to improve the market for businesses by growing the local economy. They also keep you informed about what’s going on in the area, promote your business throughout West County, and connect you to opportunities through networking events and personal introductions. The West County Chamber accomplishes its mission, to be “the area’s primary business resource and voice as the area experiences exponential growth,” through its core strategies: Advocate, Promote, Inform, and Connect. The Chamber is currently in discussions with the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber regarding a possible merger.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Randy Fisher, Board Chairman, West County Chamber of Commerce, at 443-270-6305.


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