Carteret County Chamber President Announces Retirement

Following a long and successful career in both the private and public sector, Tom Kies announced his retirement as president of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce effective October 20, 2023. Mr. Kies has served as chamber leader for the last seven years.

While with the Chamber, Mr. Kies has served on the boards of the Economic Development Foundation, the Transportation Committee, the Public-School Foundation, the Reentry Council, the Small Business Resource Alliance, the NC Aquarium at PKS Advisory Committee, the Carteret County Broadband Task Force, and the Downtown Morehead City Board of Directors. He also sits on the NOAA Monitor National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Board and has served as the President of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast, since 2016 representing 43,000 businesses from Maine to Florida.

The Carteret County Chamber of Commerce represents more than 900 businesses, professionals, organizations, educational institutions, government units and individuals, who share a common objective to create and foster a healthy environment in which to conduct business; and are committed to enhancing the quality of life for all citizens.

Wanda Bennett, Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors, said, “We are grateful for Tom’s leadership over the last seven years, and wish him all the best as he enters this new chapter.” Ms. Bennett stated that the Chamber is currently going through the search process for a new leader for the organization. A job description for the vacancy is available here.

Before his role as president of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Kies worked for newspapers and magazines in New York and New England for thirty years. Mr. Kies moved to Carteret County as publisher of NCCOAST Communications. In 2011, Mr. Kies became the executive director of Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association. In his spare time, Mr. Kies is a crime novelist, having published five mysteries, one of which was Edgar nominated by the Mystery Writers of America last year for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award. He has also taught Creative Writing courses for Carteret Community College.

Mr. Kies said, “This has really been a great experience for me. I’ve often said that there is no better job than to be the president of the Chamber of Commerce for Carteret County. I mean look at where we live. My wife, Cindy, and I plan on staying here after I retire. This is home.”

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