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Howard Chamber of Commerce picks new CEO

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce has chosen Leonardo McClarty as its new president and CEO.
The Howard County Chamber of Commerce has chosen Leonardo McClarty as its new president and CEO. (Courtesy of Howard County Chamber of Commerce)

More than a year since its former president and CEO Pam Klahr left, Howard County's Chamber of Commerce has chosen a new leader.

Leonardo McClarty, who most recently served as director of economic and community development for the city of York, Pa., will take the helm of the Howard business group Nov. 24.

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The Howard Chamber of Commerce, a networking and business advocacy group with more than 650 local members, has been without a long-term leader since Klahr left to lead the Harford County Chamber of Commerce in September 2013. Ron Meliker, a management consultant and moderator for business peer advisory organization LXCouncil, was appointed interim president of the chamber in July.

Miles Coffman, chair of the chamber's board, said McClarty's appointment was the result of a "very diligent" search.

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"We have full confidence that [McClarty] will be a strong advocate for our members and the business community as we continue to be the voice of business in Howard County," Coffman said.

"I believe that Leonardo will be a welcome addition to our chamber," Meliker said in a statement accompanying the announcement. "He will lead us ahead and I look forward to working with him in a successful transition as he joins our business community and takes over the reins of our organization."

Before working in York, McClarty served for a decade as president and CEO of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce in Decatur, Ga., where he led a 45-member board of directors, according to the Howard Chamber of Commerce.

McClarty has also worked for the city of Roswell, Ga., and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and has a bachelor's degree in political science from Furman University and a master's in city and regional planning from Clemson University, according to a bio shared by the chamber.

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"Howard County is a wonderful community, and I am extremely excited about this opportunity to serve the business community," McClarty said in a statement. "I look forward to working with the board and staff as we seek to grow membership and offer them relevant programming."

McClarty is married to Shaneka McClarty, according to his biography. The couple has three children: a seven-year-old daughter and two-year-old twin girls.

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