Hutchison Hired as New Chamber CEO

Nov 11, 2020 | Chamber News

Ann Hutchison has been named as the President & CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber Board of Directors made the decision at its most recent meeting. Hutchison will succeed David May, who will retire at the end of the year.

“Ann is a proven leader,” said Nick Haws, Chair of the Board. “We’ve benefited from her work for 17 ½ years. Elevating her to CEO provides continuity and stability while also injecting new ideas, energy, and enthusiasm into the Chamber.”

Hutchison’s hiring concludes a search that began in September with the hiring of the national search firm Waverly Partners to consult on the process.

“From the start, we believed we had a strong CEO candidate on our own staff in Ann,” said Haws. “Even so, it was important for us to vet her with the Board and other leaders. Waverly was very helpful in that regard. We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.”

Hutchison earned a double major B.A. in Speech Communication/Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and began her career by showcasing her leadership and organizational skills as a county extension agent for 4-H in Finney County, Kansas. She later took on a position as the marketing coordinator of a regional CPA firm in Kansas.  Born in Fort Collins, Ann returned to the area in February 2003 to join the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. After several years as the policy committee coordinator, Ann was promoted to her current position of executive vice president.

In that role, Hutchison directly managed the communications and event departments, assisted in the day-to-day operation of the Chamber and managed issues and political advocacy as well as the Chamber’s Leadership Fort Collins and Leadership Northern Colorado programs.  Hutchison also provided management support to the Chamber’s committees including the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Environmental Committee and the Local Legislative Affairs Committee.  Most recently, she has been a key leader in the community pandemic economic Response, Recovery and Reignite efforts.

“I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me and look forward to leading the Chamber,” said Hutchison. “Having a strong economy and business community is foundational to having a great community. Our job is to advocate for that. When we get that right, we can continue to enjoy the wonderful quality of life we have in Northern Colorado.”

In terms of priorities, Hutchison is focused on three things in the short-term. “This is overly simplistic, but three words will guide my work over the next few months: listen, economy, advocacy,” said Hutchison. “Being new in the role, I need to spend time listening to members and leaders about needs and challenges while focusing on rebuilding our damaged economy and advocating for business.  The foundation that has been created for the Chamber is tremendous. My job is to build on that. I am looking forward to imaging the future with our business community.”

Throughout her career, Hutchison has been very involved in her local communities and has served on a variety of boards and commissions. She was recognized in the BizWest Forty Under 40 inaugural class and was recognized as a Northern Colorado Business Report Woman of Distinction and the WACE Staff Member of the Year in 2013.   Ann received her Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 2010.

Hutchison and her sister live in Fort Collins and they are avid supporters of the local Colorado State University sports teams and a variety of other educational and community initiatives.

About the Fort Collins Area Chamber

The Fort Collins Area Chamber is the only 5-Star Accredited chamber of commerce in Colorado. With 1,200 members, it is one of the largest chambers of commerce in Colorado.

The Chamber is a local association of businesses and organizations that care about the region’s future and builds that future through business. The Chamber believes successful businesses make a strong local economy, which lets our region afford a great quality of life. The Chamber serves as:

  • A convener and cultivator of leaders and influencers who value business’ role in vibrant communities and who make things happen,
  • A catalyst for business growth through pragmatic public policy, strategic economic development, and support of existing businesses,
  • And a champion for a balanced, resilient, thriving economy.

Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce
President & CEO

Ann Hutchison will become President & CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce January 1, 2021.

University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, ColoradoBachelor of Arts—Double Major:
Speech Communications/Journalism and Mass Communications
UNC President’s Award for Leadership
Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce
Fort Collins, Colorado
Executive Vice President. 
Policy Committee Coordinator
Certified Association Executive Designation
American Society of Association Executives, 2010-2020
Lewis, Hooper & Dick, LLC
Garden City, Kansas
Marketing Coordinator
Northern Colorado Cohort, 2019-2020
Kansas State University/Finney County
Garden City, Kansas
County Extension Agent, 4-H and Youth
Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
2020 Fellowship for Economic Recovery



COVID-19 Business Response Leadership

  • Designed and built unified regional COVID-10 resource for businesses with regional partners.
  • Designed and built online marketplace to connect buyers and sellers of PPE.
  • Developed and executed #KeepNoCoOpen campaign with community partners.
  • Drove 20 weeks of direct communication to the Chamber membership and business community with information about executive orders, resources, funding options, recovery efforts and guidelines to reopening and staying open.
  • Created a series of business webinars and regional town halls about COVID-19 Business Relief, including CARES Act and EIDL Loans, financial resources, reopening, keeping business open and marketing recovery. Convened business of all size to discuss challenges and to offer solutions.
  • Facilitated the recreation of the regional Business Retention and Expansion collaboration that resulted in the regional relationships and network that allowed for effective COVID-19 reaction, response and recovery as well as regular contact with area businesses.

17 Years of Strategic Leadership

  • Led the redesign and redeployment of the Chamber’s Local Legislative Affairs Committee to be a key influencer at City Hall on behalf of business
  • Provided strategic vision to 24 city council candidate campaigns that were endorsed by the Chamber as a result of my co-leadership with the volunteer-led Election Committee. Sixteen of the candidates were successful in their election efforts.
  • Led the creation and establishment of NoCo Housing NOW, a coalition of the willing serving as Northern Colorado’s leading voice for housing options and relative affordability. Drive the effective work of the coalition to share insight and information about housing opportunities and challenges with more than 300 regional partners.
  • Facilitated the creation of the business and community partner Childcare Task Force that analyzed the care gap and provided recommendations to address the need for additional affordable child care in Larimer County.
  • Created the Meet the CEO Young Professionals program providing access to area CEO insight for more than 700 young professionals in Northern Colorado.
  • Led the redesign and enhancement of Leadership Fort Collins, resulting in the transformation of the program from 20 applications annually to more than 80 for the 30 seats in the program. Inspired more than 600 leaders in Fort Collins.
  • Co-founded and created Leadership Northern Colorado, resulting in the enhancement of leadership skills, regional awareness and relationships with 352 community members from the two-county region.
  • Co-led the creation and execution of Talent 2.0 – Larimer County’s first county-wide workforce development plan.
  • Created the Chamber’s Signature Events Series including the Chamber’s Annual Dinner, Health Summit, Small Business of the Year, Talent Summit, Regional Issues Summit and Thought Leader Speaker Series. Established and executed vision for each event that has resulted in the Chamber being an influential leader in the community while creating new revenue opportunities.

Strong Management and Administrative Support

  • Twice led the application process to secure 5-Star Accreditation from U.S. Chamber, Colorado’s only 5-Star Accredited Chamber.
  • Work closely with the Chamber CEO to develop and execute the Chamber’s Annual Plan of Work and Budget for the organization.



  • American Society of Association Executives, Member, 2006-2020
  • BizWest 40 Under 40 Inaugural Class, 2004
  • BizWest Woman of Distinction, 2013
  • BeKind FoCo, Founding board Member, 2019-2020
  • City of Fort Collins Economic Advisory Commission Member, 2008-2018
  • CSU Ram Club Board of Directors, 2006-2013
  • Education and Life Training Center Board of Directors, 2012-2015
  • Fort Collins Coloradoan Best in Business: Rising Business Star Finalist, 2005
  • Horsetooth Productions Board of Directors, 2010-2011
  • Larimer County Workforce Development Board Member, 2003-2020
  • Tri Media Film Festival, Founding Board Member, 2006-2012
  • United Way of Larimer County
    • WomanGive Founding Member, 2005-2020
    • Campaign Coordinator, 2003-2020
  • Western Association of Chamber Executives Staff Member of the Year, 2013


  • Association of Accounting Marketers, Member, 1996-2003
  • Beef Empire Days
    • Board of Directors, 2000-2003
    • Vice President, 2002-2003
    • Public Relations Coordinator, 2000
    • Activities Chair, 1999
    • Office Professional Luncheon Chair, 1997
  • Epsilon Sigma Phi (Extension Honorary), Associate Member, 1995-1996
  • Epsilon Sigma Phi Horizon Award, 1995
  • Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce
    • Public Relations Committee, 1997-1998
  • Garden City Community College Endowment Association
    • Executive Board Member, 2000-2002
  • Garden City Recreation Youth Basketball & Volleyball Coach, 1991-1996
  • Kansas CattleWomen
    • Vice President, Beef Promotion, 1997-1999
    • Vice President, Southwest Kansas CattleWomen, 1997-1999
  • KS 4-H Strategic Planning Core Group and Writing Team, Member, 1994
  • Kansas 4-H State Advisory Committee, Member, 1993-1996
  • Kansas Association of Extension 4-H Agents
    • Communicator Awards for Promotion Package, Personal Column
      • and Feature Story, 1993, 1994, 1995
    • Regional Communicator Award, 1994
    • Southwest Area Director, 1993-1996
    • Professional Improvement Committee Chair, 1994
    • Newsletter Editor, 1994
    • Achievement in Service Award, 1995
  • Leadership Garden City Graduate, 1998
  • Leadership Kansas
    • Graduate, 2000
    • Local Program Chair, 2001
    • Class Selection Committee, 2002
  • National Western 4-H Conference, Staff & Planning Team, 1991-1996
  • Northern Colorado Multicultural Commission Board Member, 2004-2007
  • Southwest Arts & Humanities Council, Secretary/Treasurer, 1992-1996
  • Western Association of Chamber Executives Staff Member of the Year, 2013
  • Western Kansas Manufacturing Association, 3I Show
    • Exhibitors Reception Chair and Show Volunteer, 1997, 1999, 2001
    • Consumer Program Chair, 1993, 1995