FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2022
For more information, contact:
Justin W. Johnson
Communications & Marketing Director
The Lancaster Chamber Announces Heather Valudes as New President and CEO
Lancaster, PA – The Lancaster Chamber Board of Directors today announced that Heather Valudes has been named the Lancaster Chamber’s next President and CEO. Valudes will succeed Thomas Baldrige who is retiring at the end of June 2022.
Valudes’s appointment is the culmination of a four-month nationwide search conducted by Waverly Partners and an eight-person search committee led by Michelle Rondinelli, Lancaster Chamber’s Past Chair and President of Kitchen Kettle Foods, Inc. and J. Seroky, Current Chair and President of High Concrete.
“The search committee, with the help of Waverly Partners, was extremely diligent over these past few months in the search for the new CEO of the Chamber”, commented Rondinelli. “We are thrilled to have Heather as the selected candidate for this position. With her deep knowledge of Chamber operations, her passion for pro-business advocacy and community impact and a clear vision for the future, Heather will be a true asset to the Chamber as the organization moves forward.”
“With the appointment of Heather Valudes to the role of President & CEO of the Chamber, I am very confident we have chosen the right leader to advance the Board’s newly developed strategic plan for the next evolution of the organization”, said Seroky. “The Board of Directors have been looking for a candidate that will build on the work that Tom has brought to the Chamber. A leader that can encourage strategic thinking, innovation, and action. Heather encompasses all these qualities, so it is no surprise that she has the unanimous support of both the search committee and Chamber Board.”
Valudes most recently served as the Vice President of the Lancaster Chamber. She joined the Chamber in 2011 as the Advocacy Director with a focus on government affairs and community impact. Since that time, she has continued to advance that work while also leading events and programs strategy and engaging in the overall operations and strategic direction of the organization. Prior to joining the Chamber, Valudes was the Government Affairs Coordinator at the Building Industry Association where she represented them before all government bodies on issues related to the association’s mission.
Valudes graduated from West Chester University in 2007 with a degree in Political Science and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from West Chester University. She earned her Certified Chamber Executive designation in 2021, was named a 40 Under 40 by the Central Penn Business Journal and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Lancaster. As a lifelong Lancaster County resident, she is committed to her local community. Beyond her service on Chamber related boards, she is a member of the Paradise Township Lions Club and is involved with the Girl Scouts. She resides in Paradise Township with her husband, Kevin, and twin daughters, Bridget and Stella.
“I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to lead the Lancaster Chamber”, said Valudes. “For 150 years, we have been supporting business and recognizing their role in cultivating a thriving community – and I am excited to honor that legacy as we look to the future. With the support of our members, our dedicated and thoughtful Board and staff team, and collaborative community partners, the Lancaster Chamber will continue to be a convener, a champion for business, and an organization addressing the challenges and opportunities in our community. I look forward to advancing the essential work of the Chamber.”
Thomas Baldrige, who announced his retirement October 2021, has served as the President of the Chamber for 22 years over which the Chamber received national recognition for excellence.
“Simply put, Heather has earned this new role”, commented, Baldrige. “Her work with the Chamber over the past 10 years has been exceptional and I am confident the best is yet to come as she transitions to leading the organization. Heather’s appointment to this position, is made even more meaningful, when one recognizes that this is the first women president in our of 150-year history. Her energy, strategic mindset and respect for Lancaster County business makes her the perfect choice to lead our vision of making Lancaster County a thriving community for all.”
At the Lancaster Chamber, our mission is to create the environment, facilitate partnerships, and lead on issues that elevate business success. Established in 1872, the Chamber is celebrating its 150th Anniversary, commemorating 150 years of impact, support, engagement, and leadership for the Lancaster County business community. The Chamber continues to leverage the collective strength of the business community. By advancing a pro-business agenda, supporting community-focused initiatives, including Workforce, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and being committed to providing resources for all business professionals – the Chamber strives to build Lancaster into a thriving community for all.