It seems almost fated that Tamara Clark would step into the role of executive director of the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce at the end of February 2022. With deep ties to the community, she is a natural fit to represent local businesses. Since she took the reins, membership has grown and relationships have strengthened. And she’s just beginning to hit her stride.
Were you born in Arizona?
No, I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but I only lived there briefly before my family relocated to Texas. When I was a junior in high school, the family moved again, this time to Arizona. Anthem was the chosen community because my mom, who was a realtor, wanted a small town with a close-knit community.
When you moved to Anthem, what was next?
I graduated from Boulder Creek High School, where I played softball and received a scholarship to play in college. I got my bachelor’s degree at NAU, commuting twice a week from Anthem.
I then moved to California for grad school, and there I fell in love with business and nonprofits. I had two community-based positions at the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and Microsoft.
After living in California, why did you choose to move back to Anthem?
Our first daughter was born in California in 2017, and my husband and I wanted to be closer to family at that point, so we moved back to Anthem at the end of that year.
When did you learn about the position at the Chamber?
Matt Word, the past president of the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce, is a good friend of my parents, and they were at dinner one night when Matt told them that the Chamber was looking for a new executive director.
I applied, interviewed, and was offered the position. I took it because this is an amazing business community. The heart of this community is small business because most owners live and work here. I really saw the opportunity to make a difference hyper locally rather than across the state, and that drew me to the role.
What are the Chamber's future plans?
Ultimately, we want to have an official visitors center, complete with a sign on the freeway. The center would provide local businesses with an opportunity to share their information and highlight our wonderful amenities here in Anthem. We’re really looking at growth now, especially with the new Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company going up. The Chamber needs to keep up with the growth yet stay small enough to offer that one-to-one interaction we all appreciate about our community.
“One of the big reasons I took the job is that I’m from here, my husband’s from here, my parents live here, and my kids go to school here. This is home.”