Julie Isom has been named the new executive director of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. Isom accepted the position on Tuesday and will replace outgoing director Chelsea Goucher.
Isom previously lived in Thorne Bay for over 20 years and served as that city’s mayor for a period of time. She then took a job with Republican Senator Bert Stedman for eight years before deciding to settle in Ketchikan. Isom was elected to the Ketchikan City Council this fall. About a year ago she became an executive office manager with the Cape Fox Corporation. Isom says she’s excited about working for the Chamber.
“It’s all be a passion of mine. It fits me better than what I’m doing right now. I understand that I will be representing the Chamber members when I’m out in the public. I know a lot of businesses. I have good relationships, positive relationships, with our local legislators along with leaders in and around our entire region. I love Ketchikan which is probably the most important reason, I think, I will be successful in that position. Part of my job will be to advocate for Ketchikan around Alaska, not only in the Southeast region, but around the entire state. And I believe I will be good at that.”
Outgoing executive director Chelsea Goucher has worked for the Chamber for about two and a half years. Goucher says she felt it was time for a change.
“I just wanted to pursue other opportunities elsewhere. I think it’s good for an organization like this to get a fresh perspective every now and then, and I just felt like it was time to move on and do something different.”
Goucher will be working for Alaska Marine Lines in Ketchikan. She says while with the Chamber, she has been especially pleased working with businesses on the “shop local” campaign, and helping Ketchikan become a Coast Guard City.
“…which is something I started through my work with the Marine Industry Council when I first began the job back in 2013. So it’s kind of cool to see that come to fruition after two and a half years.”
Goucher says she also enjoyed being part of Governor Sean Parnell’s governor’s picnic, and Governor Walker’s inaugural ball. She says learning about how industries and the legislature work has also been rewarding. Goucher says she’s excited that Isom will be the new executive director.
“I think she will do a great job and I’ll definitely stay involved with the Chamber and help out in any way that I can. Because I do believe it’s a meaningful organization and it’s doing important work in Ketchikan. So I’m excited for a change.”
Goucher’s last day with the Chamber is Monday (November 30th). Isom will take over on Wednesday (December 2nd).