La Plata, MD – In an official announcement made on September 29, 2023, Charles County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chair, Deadra Robinson, proudly unveiled the appointment of Kathy Guzman-Russell as the new President and CEO of the Chamber. Guzman-Russell, a seasoned expert in communication, media, sales, marketing, and relationship-building, is set to assume her new role on Monday, October 23.
Guzman-Russell brings to the position a wealth of experience, boasting over 25 years of extensive involvement with higher education institutions, local media organizations, and nonprofit entities across the United States. Her previous association with the Charles County Chamber as the member services manager left a lasting impression, marked by substantial growth in membership and remarkable attendance figures, with networking mixers regularly drawing 75-100 participants each month.
Board Chair Deadra Robinson expressed her enthusiasm for Guzman-Russell’s return to the chamber, stating, “I am happy to welcome Kathy back to the chamber. The board voted unanimously. I can confidently speak on their behalf and say she is a breath of fresh air for the chamber. Charles County businesses and the community at large will benefit greatly from her leadership, vision, and passion in her new role as the president and CEO.”
Kathy Guzman-Russell’s professional journey includes a significant tenure in the advertising sales department of the Maryland Independent (Southern Maryland News – APG Media) from 2005 to 2023. During this time, she ascended from an advertising sales representative to the position of advertising sales manager in 2008. Guzman-Russell not only engaged with a diverse range of businesses and government agencies in Charles County but also earned numerous accolades, including multiple Salesperson of the Month and Year awards for Charles County, along with consecutive Salesperson of the Year recognitions for the Southern Maryland division of APG Chesapeake.
Before her tenure with Southern Maryland News, she served as the director of development and management at Lifestyles of Maryland, Inc., and as a business services analyst at Electronic Data Systems, where she led a team in the creation of a bilingual (English/Spanish) tutorial for international students entering the United States on a student visa.
In her response to the appointment, Guzman-Russell shared her excitement, saying, “I am both humbled and honored to return to the chamber as the president & CEO. I have learned so much working with the College of Southern Maryland Foundation these past six months, and I can honestly say that the chamber has a better leader because of the experience I gained. I look forward to working even closer with the Charles County business community, nonprofit organizations, government, and civic leaders, as well as entities in the surrounding area, to help foster the growth of the chamber and our members.”
Guzman-Russell also outlined her personal goal for the chamber, emphasizing its role as a vital connector within the community. She stated, “We should serve as a connector by providing accurate information to anyone (business, organization, or private citizen) who needs assistance and doesn’t know where to start. I want us to be known as the ‘missing middle puzzle piece!’ We might not have the answer, but we will connect you to the right person who does.”
Kathy Guzman-Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bethune-Cookman University and a Master of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa. She currently serves as a board member for the nonprofit organization, Our Sisters’ Circle.
To engage with the new President & CEO and experience her vision firsthand, the community is invited to join Kathy Guzman-Russell at Copper Compass Distilling on Tuesday, October 10th, for the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Diversity Business Mixer. Additionally, the Pavilion at Weatherly Farm will host the “Bounty of the County, Take II” event on Sunday, November 12th, providing another opportunity to connect with the chamber’s dynamic leadership.