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Carolyn Kelly, Former Seattle Times President and COO, Elected Chair of AAA Washington Board of Trustees

Female Business Leaders Represent Half of AAA Washington’s Board Of Trustees

BELLEVUE, Wash. – AAA Washington, the leading provider of emergency road service, leisure travel and personal-lines insurance to more than 1.1 million members in Washington and northern Idaho, has elected Carolyn Kelly, former President and COO of the Seattle Times, as Chair. Carolyn’s experience leading a respected, heritage business through considerable change to the industry makes her a great fit for AAA’s Board of Trustees.

At its fall meeting, Denise Moriguchi, CEO of Uwajimaya, was elected to AAA Washington’s Board of Trustees. With the addition of Ms. Moriguchi, AAA Washington is proud to have female leaders represent half of its Board of Trustees.

“Over the years, my career and community volunteer service has taught me the value that diversity of thought, experience and opinion brings to decision making. The journey may take longer or have more turns, but the result is always better,” said new Chair Carolyn Kelly. “One of the many great strengths of AAA Washington is its diversity of membership; and we’ve worked hard to ensure our Board and the leadership team bring diversity of all aspects to the strategy applied to serving our members.”

Carolyn Kelly: Kelly joined The Seattle Times in 1977 as a financial analyst and moved her way up the ranks from marketing/new business director, to vice president and CFO, to senior vice president and general manager, and retired as president and COO in 2010. An active community advocate, Kelly currently serves on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, the Seattle University Albers School of Business, the Independent Colleges of Washington, and Anthony’s Restaurants. She has served on the AAA Washington Board of Trustees since 2012. Kelly received her bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and her MBA from Seattle University.

Additional newly elected officers of the AAA Washington Board of Trustees include: Greg Bever, retired publisher of Spokane’s Journal of Business was elected Vice Chair; Ken Ryals, senior director of public affairs at Microsoft, was elected second Vice Chair; and Kirk Nelson was re-elected as president and CEO of AAA Washington.

Continuing Board of Trustees are: Greg Bever (Spokane), retired publisher of Spokane’s Journal of Business; Don Brunell (Vancouver), retired President of Association of Washington Businesses; Gigi Burke (Everett), former co-owner and executive vice president of Crown Distributing; José Gaitán (Seattle), managing member of the Gaitán Group PLLC; Paula Hammond (Tumwater), senior vice president, WSP; Carolyn Kelly (Seattle), former president and COO of The Seattle Times; Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange (Seattle), president of Seattle Central College; David Madeira (Gig Harbor), Vice Chair of America’s Automotive Trust; Denise Moriguchi (Mercer Island), CEO of Uwajimaya; Patti Paris (Moses Lake), former CFO of Columbia Colstor, Inc; Ken Ryals (Beaux Arts), senior director of public affairs at Microsoft; and Kirk Nelson (Sammamish) president and CEO of AAA Washington.

About AAA Washington:

AAA Washington was established in 1904 by 10 prominent Seattleites determined to champion the betterment of motoring conditions and laws, the preservation of Washington state’s natural beauty and the promotion of Washington as an unrivaled tourist destination. Nearly 120 years later, the club continues to pursue these on behalf of its 1.2 million members. 

Members of AAA Washington receive exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts on hotels and rental cars, comprehensive insurance options, and personalized trip planning. AAA Washington was named a Best Place to Work by Puget Sound Business Journal and voted the best Travel/Tourism Company by 425 Business readers in 2023, and AAA was named one of the most trusted travel and automotive brands in the U.S. Additional information is available through the company’s Washington and northern Idaho stores and at 

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit

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Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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