Welcome aboard, Mike Mahler

The Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce has filled some big shoes.

The Chamber announced it has selected Mike Mahler to replace Jim Klarich, the longtime economic development guru who had a hand in all of the biggest projects in Alpena’s growth spurt over the last several years.

While Klarich resigned to pursue another career opportunity, the Chamber called Mahler out of retirement.

Mahler, who had his first day on Monday, retired last year as the president of First Federal and mBank in Alpena. He has stayed active in the local economy as the president of the Alpena Downtown Development Authority.

“There were only two organizations that I would have come out of retirement to work for, and the Chamber is one of them,” Mahler said.

The Chamber’s hiring committee did its due diligence in hiring Mahler, and Chamber President and CEO Jackie Krawczak is confident in Mahler’s ability to fill the big footprints left by Klarich on the city.

“He has a very strong network and is very knowledgeable of what economic development is and what it means, where our community is at and where we would like it to go,” Krawczak said.

We’re confident Krawczak and her team have made the right choice, and we look forward to seeing how Mahler can continue the boom Klarich and many others have brought to the city.

Welcome aboard, Mike, and good luck!